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the shortlist

Photography Reading Shortlist – 09.30.12

Aperture aggregates the best in online photography news and commentary.


›› Following Shifting Sands: Conflict Photojournalism and Ethics, Aperture’s September 18 panel which considered the responsibilities and consequences, intended and otherwise, of reporting on conflict (which we recapped earlier last week in images and tweets), the New Yorker Photo Booth profiles War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, opening November 11th at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, a show exploring what types of photographs are, and are not, made, by whom and for whom, within the context of “the photographic record of war.”

›› “Is it photography? Is it art? Is it easy? Is it any good? And most often: Is it legal?” Eugene Reznik at Techonomy considers if “Curating [Is] as Good as Photographing?” citing the social media buzz surrounding Doug Rickard’s A New American Picture—which has just been nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013—as a taste of ongoing popular debate surrounding the merits of appropriation as art.

›› Lucas Kavner at the Huffington Post considers Instagram as “photography’s anti-christ, Savior, or something in-between,” while James Estrin’s Lens blog post earlier this month blasted “social photography” for perpetuating the mainstream celebration of the commonplace image. “As far as I can see — admittedly from ground level — there are two possible effects on “serious” photography,” said Estrin in his Sept. 7 opinion piece. Our money is on the former, but read the argument and draw your own conclusions.

›› The body of photographs taken in or from outer space is ever-expanding: last week, a Photo Booth slideshow of ten NASA self-portraits, including shots taken by human and robotic space photographers, coincided with a series of fractal earth landscapes captured from Google’s Satellie View by an Australian professor. And photographs themselves will soon travel to outer space: Trevor Paglen’s recent project will attach an archive of photographs into orbit aboard a satellite, on the heels of a Space Invader tile mosaic launching on a weather balloon.

›› Posts by Jörg Colberg and Dan Abbe, and a number of posts by Blake Andrews, considered how context is always shifting in Tumblr’s sea of re-posted images, and what this means for serious work, like The LBM Dispatch or Magnum’s Postcards From America, that is shared and re-shared on the micro-blogging platform.

›› A number of dye transfer prints of never-before-seen William Eggleston photographs will soon be on display in Santa Monica, before landing in the permanent collection of the Tate Modern. Former Aperture editor Mark Holborn wrote about working with Eggleston in the 1980s and re-editing his “democratic forest” of photographs today, in the Financial Times. An original print of Eggleston’s ‘Memphis (Tricycle)’ will go on sale in a Christie’s photography auction this October, an image that was controversially printed digitally almost five feet wide and auctioned earlier this year, undermining the value of the smaller original prints, some collectors argued.

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