(and I am mad)

I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more

What is a Photograph? | Conscientious Photography Magazine »

Over the course of the past few weeks, Trevor Paglen has been writing about photography at the Fotomuseum Winterthur‘s blog, Still Searching. Starting out with the question Is Photography Over?, Paglen wrote that “traditional approaches to doing-photography and thinking-about-photography feel increasingly anachronistic.” A section a little further is worthwhile quoting:

“The landscape of traditional photography theory and criticism is in a similarly contorted shape. On one hand, the digital revolution and landscape of ubiquitous image-making has created a situation where curators and critics specializing in photography have to define the field exceedingly narrowly in order to have an ‘object’ of discourse at all. […] As a consequence of narrowing the objects of inquiry so dramatically, the critical discussion around photography ends up inevitably admitting only a very small range of photographic practices into its purview. Consequently, critical discussions take shape around a small range of photographic images and practices which are extreme exceptions to the rule. Photography theory and criticism has less and less to do with the way photography is actually practiced by most people […] most of the time.”

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I want to suggest that the minimum requirement for a photograph is authorship. Authorship in the form of intent, however specific or not specific it might be. Intent requires consciousness, and machines or robots don’t have consciousness. 

(…)

Photography really is more a practice than anything, the consequence being that photographs not only have become ephemeral, they often don’t matter any longer. Because of the practice aspect, however (“I photograph, therefore I am”), photographs are intimately tied to authorship: photographs are essentially re-confirming their maker’s (author’s) presence, one picture at a time. Or more accurately, the existence of a photograph provides proof that someone felt the need to re-confirm her or his presence.

“Images have a power that is different from the power of words and they communicate in ways that words cannot. In today’s culture, words dominate our thinking and, used in a lazy manner, they help sustain a spectrum of fundamentalist thought. Being able to accept ambiguity leads to a better quality of life and better work.”

Mark Steinmetz (via nevver)

The Journalistic Quest to Write An Accurate Story About Bisexuality

autostraddle:

The Journalistic Quest to Write An Accurate Story About Bisexuality

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The New York Times doesn’t have a shining history when it comes to respectful and accurate reporting on bisexuality; sometimes it needs to be reminded by its readers that bisexuals exist, sometimes it writes about flawed studies that question the existence of bisexuals, or writes about “same-sex experimentation” and “lesbians until graduation”  without presenting bisexuality as feasible…

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