Every Building on the Sunset Strip copyright 1966 Ed Ruscha
Currently OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art) is exhibiting Pop Art Design and included are a few works by Ed Ruscha, but probably the most photographically interesting is a very long display of Ed Ruscha’s 1966 creative photobook Every Building on the Sunset Strip.
This was a deadpan photographic project in which a 35mm motor-drive camera was load with a bulk feed and photographed the adjacent buildings while driving up and then back down Sunset Blvd, which was commonly called the Sunset Strip. The resulting photobook then takes advantage of the street name’s pun by creating a long continuous strip of images. On the top of the page is one side of the street and below this in reverse is the other side of this street.
This photobook design was very innovative for its time with stiff covers and the interior was bound to display as an accordion (also known as Leporello and Concertinas) layout, which is to say each page was connected and continuous. A very long strip of photographic images. My photographs of this exhibit were a grab shot and do not do it very much justice, thus go check it out and see the real thing!
The OCMA exhibition runs thru April 2nd, 2017.
Copyright 2014 Jason Fulford & Gregory Halpern published by Aperture
While in Santa Fe last month and visiting the photo-eye book store, I had an opportunity to purchase a copy of Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern’s book The Photographer’s Playbook. The subtitle reveals the essentials of this book; 307 (photographic) Assignments and Ideas, which are distilled from 307 photographers, curators, photographic academia and workshop leaders, including Aline Smithson, Mark Steinmetz, Jim Goldberg, Stephen Shore, John Gossage and many more. From my perspective, this book draws heavily on a few photographic academia programs for BFA and MFA photographic degrees.
It appears that the book is focused on young and inexperienced photographers who are searching for the reason to be a fine art photographer (as part of a BFA/MFA program) or for a photographer who is stuck in a dry spell as to how to find conceptual ideas to development next. If you have the technical side of photography down then working through a bunch of these assignments could provide you with an equivalent BFA/MFA education as to the conceptual projects you work on. What may be missing is the group critiques offered in the academic programs and instructors that might challenge you (alternatively a best friend that can continue to say “No, try again, dig deeper”). So find a small group photographic/artist peers that you can count on to be candid and talk/show the work/assignments, a group who can say “Very cool, I see where you are going, keep at it, dig deeper”
To be candid, there are some ideas within this book that are similar to other ideas I have developed over the years to help me consider photographic options and move my concepts forward. I will continue to write about some of them, such as my post earlier this morning about experiment-play (games), a frequent idea (27 different variations) that is recommended in this book. In my case, experiment-play was what I was doing that led me to my Memory Pods project that I have been working on for just about three years. Recently, experiment-play is what inspired me to start the Middle Ground (aka Life in the Slow Lane) project earlier this year.
To be fully transparent, as a portfolio reviewer for LensCulture, we also provide some resource recommendations as part of the portfolio review and this book is one that I recommend to photographers who have a photo technique but appear to looking for a project to apply their process. Recommended!
Douglas Stockdale, Editor
(originally posted on Singular Images)
This year the Medium Festival of Photography will take place October 20-23, 2016, at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego. This week of events, lectures, portfolio reviews, and book signings promises to be an exciting experience!
Registration open now through October 9.
More details at: http://mediumsandiego.org/
Highlights of the Festival Lineup
All events take place at the Lafayette Hotel unless otherwise noted.
Thursday, Oct. 20
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Eye to Eye Portfolio Reviews (by appointment only)
7:00 – 9:00 pm Open Portfolio Walk (FREE!)
Friday, Oct. 21
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Eye to Eye Portfolio Reviews (by appointment only)
6:00 – 7:00 pm VIP Reception (VIP and Big Pass Holders only)
7:00 – 8:00 pm Keynote Lecture with Penelope Umbrico
8:00 – 10:00 pm Book Signing and reception with Penelope Umbrico
Saturday, Oct. 22
10:00 am – 3:00 pm FLASH! Pop-Up Shop
11:00 am Susan Rankaitis lecture
12:00pm Susan Burnstine book signing (FREE!)
12:00pm Michael Lundgren book signing (FREE!)
1:30 pm Patrick Nagatani lecture
3:00 pm Marisa Scheinfeld lecture
4:00pm Marisa Scheinfeld book signing (FREE!)
4:30 pm Vincent Cianni lecture
5:30pm Vincent Cianni book signing (FREE!)
7:00 pm Size Matters exhibition reception at Low Gallery (FREE!)
7:00 pm OpenShow San Diego
8:00 pm Daylight Books Fall book launch and signing (FREE!)
Sunday, Oct. 23
9:30 am Collecting Contemporary Photography (roundtable discussion)
10:00 am – 3:00 pm FLASH! Pop-Up Shop
11:00 am Matt Eich lecture
1:30 pm Wayne Martin Belger lecture
Photographs copyright 2016 Nancy Albright
This last week was Photo Independent which was held at the Raleigh film studios in Hollywood on sound stage #14. Within this larger event was Photobook Independent exhibiton, which was a group of exhibitors who were focused on the publication and presentation of their photobooks.
Photo Exchange member Douglas Stockdale was a guest curator, photobook exhibitor and one of the judges for this year’s photobook competition. Stockdale provided walking curatorial discussions of the winning photobooks and then the photobooks of some of the exhibitors. Stockdale also provided an interesting insight on the photobook judging process and the four key judging aspects: photography, concept/idea, design/layout and the book production and how all of these aspects are intertwined.
The photobooks at the event were very diverse, including the full spectrum from trade edition books to limited edition hand-made artist books. Exhibitors photographed below include Susan Burnstine showing photographs for her new book, Sara Terry and her recent self-published artist books series X, Marissa Roth and her photobook investigating Tibet and Ejen Chuang who is documenting the subculture of Cosplay.
As a follow-up to being one of the judges for the Photo Book Independent book competition, I am honored to also be providing two curatorial discussions of the juried in books as well as the other photobooks available during Photo Book Independent.The schedule for talks, book signings and curatorial discussions has just been posted.
The first curatorial walk will be held first on Friday night at 6pm just prior to the VIP opening of the exhibition space at Raleigh Studios (yes, a functioning sound stage in the midst of the film capital). The second walking discussion will be on Sunday morning at 10:30 am just prior to the opening for the general public. I am planing on an hour discussion, but be prepared, it could last a little longer depending on the questions and answers.
For the juried in photo books, since I was part of the judging and had developed the judging process, I am planning to provide a little back-ground on the judging criteria. How did we decide which books were interesting and provocative and which did not seem to past muster and capture our attention? If you were every thinking about submitting a book dummy or photobook to a competition, this could be an interesting discussion for you.
The good news, my curatorial discussions are FREE for those to participate, but the space is limited and if you want to join for what I hope is an interesting, fun and informative event, you need to sign up for it NOW: http://photoindependent.com/talks-and-book-signings/
Leave a comment if you have any questions.
Photobook Independent – Photobook Competition 2016
I have some great news, I am honored to be recently selected as one of the judges of the PhotoBook Competition this year as a part of the Photo Independent activities occurring at the end of April in Los Angeles. I just posted a quick update as to the judges and timing on my another blog that I am also the editor of: The PhotoBook.
If you have a published book and copies still available for sale, then you may want to check this opportunity out now (deadline for mailing submissions is March 21st!). I am now looking forward to all of the submissions, as this should be great chance for me to get a quick pulse on our greater photographic community.
The LA Art Book Fair will again be at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and will be another delightful maze of rooms with amazing displays of photobook and zines. This event has always been punctuated with some wonderful finds.
From Printed Matter:
Printed Matter presents the fourth annual LA Art Book Fair, from February 12 through 14, 2016, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Downtown LA. A ticketed preview will take place on Thursday, February 11, 6-9PM.
Free (another aspect of this event that I love) and open to the public, Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair is a (very) unique event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 300 presses, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from over 20 countries.
The LA Art Book Fair is the companion fair to the NY Art Book Fair, held every fall in New York City. Over 35,000 artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts attended the NY Art Book Fair in 2015.
A full list of this year’s exhibitors can be found here.
Highly recommended for those on living (or visiting) the Left Coast.
Photographs copyright Jeff Alu
I am very pleased to announce that Jeff Alu will be the Guest Curator for ThePhotoExchange blog for the month of February. He resides here in Orange County and in addition to his day job as a 3D Animator and Flash Developer, he is a photographer, author, curator and the Exhibition Developer at Orange County Center of Contemporary Art (OCCCA), located in Santa Ana, CA.
Zero+ Publishing released Jeff Alu: Surrealities in 2012 and Alu has had five solo photographic exhibitions, including Marks Art Center, Palm Desert, CA, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, and Studio 343, San Pedro, CA, and has been included in over 60 group exhibitions. His photographs have been featured in 24 publications, including Adore Noir, B&W Magazine, LensWork Extended (#68), Shots and Focus magazines. As a curator Alu has five exhibitions that he has organized and developed at OCCCA. He has provided presentations at Disney Imagineering Photography Group, Glendale, CA, Marks Art Center, Palm Desert, CA and Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA. He has a Bachelor of Music from Chapman University, (Conducting, Piano Performance, and Music Composition) and attended Eastman School of Music, Rochester NY.
Jeff states that the path that let him into photography began in his childhood, where he grew up in an artistic household. His mother was studying art and he witnessed her development through many mediums and learned at a very young age the value of experimentation by watching her in action. Large canvases on the garage floor that were splattered with paint and abstract sculptures being created out of found objects were being brought to life before his eyes. This in conjunction with a job at the Jet Propulsion Lab and Palomar Observatory a little later in life hunting for Near Earth Asteroids and comets led him to appreciate the spirit of searching for the unknown.
As to his own creations, his photography is a combination of art and science, where he combines his love for searching with his love for alternate worlds and meanings. His style hovers between documentary and a semi-dreamlike state. He is constantly searching for what he likes to call “clues.” These clues generally represent the initiation of questions that should be asked, rather than answers to pre-defined questions. He never has a set idea of what it is he’s looking for. He simply seeks, occasionally finding exactly what it is he wasn’t seeking. That’s the time he learns something new about life: when he discovers a new path, a new way of seeing, a new reason for continuing his search.
He has a very broad background in photography, digital art and gallery exhibitions and has provided a tantalizing submission as to what he hopes to accomplish during the month of February. I am extremely delighted to have Jeff take the reins and I highly recommend that you check in frequently and join the conversation!
The deadline to submit submissions as Guest Curator for March is February 18th.
Doug Stockdale, Founding Editor
Copyright Douglas Stockdale 2014, self-published Pine Lake
As a book artist and photobook specialist, this is the time of year that I provide kudo’s to all of the photographers, photobook designers, photobook publishers and the book artists who use photography as a part of their creative medium. .
What came as a very pleasant surprise is when the amazing NYC book designer Elizabeth Avedon (yes, a familiar last name to those following photography over the years) selected my artist book Pine Lake as one of her Best Photography Books of 2014. A total surprise as this is a very limited edition artist book (edition of 25 plus 2 A/P’s) and thus I am assuming not many have actually held or seen this.
What a sweet ending to the year and which reminds me that I need to get my butte back into gear and finish my next limited edition book Bluewater Shore, the second of the three photo-narratives planned for this series.
copyright Alejandro Cartagena, 2014 self-published – Carpoolers
Earlier today I posted the five photobooks that I had selected for Emaho magazine’s list of Interesting Photo Books for 2014. Since this short list was a bit daunting, I have made a broader selection to post on my photobook review blog, The PhotoBook.
So check it out to see which additional photographers and photobook titles I have chosen as Interesting Photobooks for 2014! https://thephotobook.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/interesting-photobooks-for-2014/