1. shihlun:


    Thomas Ruff, Hans Ulrich Obrist, 1989.

  2. John Smith - The Girl Chewing Gum 1976

  3. Daisuke Yokota; see my essay about his work here

  4. (Source: sassou71, via orchardjournal)

  5. jwesleybrown:



    Amen. Amen. A thousand times, Amen.


  6. "The Internet threatens final confirmation of Adorno and Horkheimer’s dictum that the culture industry allows the “freedom to choose what is always the same.” Champions of online life promised a utopia of infinite availability: a “long tail” of perpetually in-stock products would revive interest in non-mainstream culture. One need not have read Astra Taylor and other critics to sense that this utopia has been slow in arriving. Culture appears more monolithic than ever, with a few gigantic corporations—Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon—presiding over unprecedented monopolies. Internet discourse has become tighter, more coercive. Search engines guide you away from peculiar words. (“Did you mean … ?”) Headlines have an authoritarian bark (“This Map of Planes in the Air Right Now Will Blow Your Mind”). “Most Read” lists at the top of Web sites imply that you should read the same stories everyone else is reading. Technology conspires with populism to create an ideologically vacant dictatorship of likes."
    — Alex Ross
  7. (Source: ramonhaindl)


  8. "The point for me is largely pleasure."



     An Interview with Eric Jarosinski

    Whenever Eric Jarosinski ran late for our class (“Nietzsche’s Modernity”) at the University of Pennsylvania, he’d invariably send us mass emails with subject lines like, “Thus was Zarathustra 10-15 mn late.” Or after news of a snow day: “Die Another Day. In Venice.” For an email ominously titled “Krank,” he’d add, “That’s German for sick. Because that’s how bad I’m feeling right now.”

    That constant impulse to write playful, incisive, well-punctuated aphorisms has made Jarosinski a Twitter phenomenon. He has almost 850,000 followers, an incredibly large number considering Jarosinski’s favorite topics include hermeneutics (“Another beautiful day for signifying nothing”) and grammar (“An Oxford comma walks into a bar. Orders a gin, and tonic.”) Under the handle Nein Quarterly, a fictional magazine that may soon become real, Jarosinski takes on the persona of “Nein,” a zeppelin-flying alter ego of Theodor W. Adorno that turns a critical, monocled eye on the world.

    Jarosinski’s tongue-in-cheek self-identification as a #FailedIntellectual after he decided to leave academia resonates with an audience looking to think outside traditional academic boundaries. His most earnest tweets come when promoting crowd-sourced or free resources for thought, like the avant-garde UbuWeb or the “PDF library” Arg Dot Org.

    Our interview took place over email; he responded on various Apple devices.

    —Brenda Wang 


    THE BELIEVER: You’ve recently inked a book deal for NEIN. A MANIFESTO, which means you’re moving back to writing books, this time in “small but potent clusters of text.” What does that mean exactly? Is Nein really Nein without Twitter?

    ERIC JAROSINKI: Embarrassing. I don’t really know. That’s promotional text I didn’t write myself. I think it means “short but good.” That’s what I’ve been trying to write anyway, with varying degrees of success.

    And yes, Nein is still Nein without Twitter, at least in spirit, but not exactly in form. I am trying to write for the book as a medium, just as I’ve tried to learn to write for Twitter as a medium. I know nothing about music, but I’m tempted to say something about tweets being about dissonance and sharp counterpoints, but for print I’m trying to think more in terms of composition, maybe some sort of little textual fugues. Uh, small but potent clusters of, uh, textual fugues.

    BLVR: The promotional text on Lebowski Publishers’ website says that the book will, “As good old Horace would have put it, instruct and delight in equal measure.” That seems a little medieval for Nein—what are you hoping to instruct readers about?

    EJ: You’ll have to ask my agent. The only thing I’ve ever tried to teach is a type of respectfully irreverent spirit in approaching the authors, thinkers, and ideas that have meant a great deal to me. At my best, I’d like to think I’m helping in some very small way to put the critical back into critical theory—by demystifying thinkers whose very objective was demystification.

    BLVR: What is your schedule like now that you’re no longer a professor? Do you find that you have more time to think and write without a defined career, or less?

    EJ: Well, it’s summertime, and the damaged life is easy… Though not for much longer, as I just got my last professorial paycheck. I get up relatively early, read a lot of German news, play basketball in a South Philly playground for an hour or so, usually writing some jokes in breaks, then often end up in a favorite dive bar by mid-afternoon to write. In the evening I grill on my front steps, read, maybe watch a Werner Herzog documentary. Most of my writing is done late at night. The uneasy sleep of an ongoing mid-life crisis is good for that.

    BLVR: It’s funny that you say you watch a lot of Herzog’s films, because Nein’s tweets often remind me of Herzog’s dramatic voice-overs in his documentaries. What interests you about them?

    EJ: I’m fascinated by Herzog’s own fascination, his intensity really. Every time I watch one of his films I’m reminded that I’m wasting my time if I’m not living with some degree of passion. And for a long time I wasn’t. Your question reminds me that I applied for Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School in LA in August. Haven’t heard anything. Probably not good news.

    Read More

  9. Los Angeles 1983, Mark Steinmetz
    Pomona, CA 1983, Mark Steinmetz
    Los Angeles Zoo 1983, Mark Steinmetz


    In preparation for the upcoming Leo Rubinfien lecture, “The Reasons for Winogrand,” we reached out to photographer Mark Steinmetz for some of his personal insight into his time spent with Garry Winogrand while in Los Angles during the 1980s.

    We are very grateful for Mark’s contribution to the retrospective on Garry’s life and career as a photographer.  

    All images included in this post were made in L.A. by Mark Steinmetz, be sure to click on the images for details.  

    We hope you enjoy the essay below, Remembering Garry Winogrand, by Mark Steinmetz. 

    Remembering Garry Winogrand

    I entered the Yale School of Art straight from college and left after my first semester. I was 21. At Yale, Richard Benson had explained to me how to expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights, and Tod Papageorge had given a brilliant slide talk on Cartier-Bresson; I figured that was all I needed to know. I was restless, curious about America beyond New England, and had a strong interest in the movie industry; I also had heard that Garry Winogrand was somewhere out there in Los Angeles so in the summer of 1983 I headed west.

    When I got to LA I moved into a roach-infested studio in the Miracle Mile district and set up a darkroom in the 5’ x 5’ nook that separated the bathroom from the only other room. As far as I could tell, after poking around a bit, nobody in LA had even the slightest interest in what is considered to be straight photography. Someone told me, erroneously it turned out, that Garry had left town so the scene didn’t seem at all promising. (Later on, I would meet Jeffrey Scales and Anthony Hernandez, so there were at least a couple of other straight photographers besides myself and Garry. There might have been a few more I didn’t know about.) It didn’t take long before I ran into Garry. The first time was at the counter of Samy’s Camera – he was there with his printer, Tom Consilvio. I said hello and that was pretty much that. Then I came across Garry over and over in a short period of time in both likely and unlikely places. If you have any familiarity with the sprawling nature of LA, you would see how improbable those encounters were. One day our paths crossed at the county fair way out in Pomona and since we realized we lived close to one another (in LA terms), Garry suggested that we drive to the fair together the next time.

    Garry drove a small energy efficient white Toyota. He had some sort of cumbersome theft prevention contraption that he would latch to the steering wheel though I seriously doubted any thief would make the effort to go after his unvoluptuous car. My car was a Fiat, which was mischievously and irresponsibly leaking massive amounts of oil.  Garry preferred going in my car so that he could photograph out the window. Once driving down Sunset Boulevard he took a picture with his 28mm lens across six lanes of traffic of a woman on the sidewalk – “aah…and she was smiling,” he said as he returned his Leica to his lap. I can’t find the citation but I think somewhere Szarkowski described Garry’s later work as “involving increasingly unequal contests of chance.”

    One morning I met Garry at the Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax. He was going to show me his darkroom, which was nearby. His face was covered with little bits of kleenex or maybe toilet paper put in place to stop the bleeding from shaving. “A normal occurrence,” he said. As I remember, Garry usually wore the same dark blue work clothes. I thought he looked good but he never put much emphasis on his appearance. He had no time to waste on what he called “nonsense” and spoke of not going to a dinner party later one night because “bullshitters” were going to be there. He was a one-man anti-complacency league. Once he said, with his voice sort of trailing off, “The world is full of seductions…” He was telling me not to fall for those seductions: success with the world is easy; success with the self (through photography) is difficult. On one outing, I didn’t know what to do with a banana peel I was clutching in my hand and, looking around, there were no trash cans anywhere – it was getting to be a little absurd; he said, “Just chuck it over the fence.” So I did. His cheerful, practical manner and advice probably helped me shave off years of worrying how to be. In private, he didn’t speak so much about photography.

    Garry was really funny. He actively used his mind in coming up with improbable jokes. On some drive to somewhere he told me that Woody Allen was one of his pet peeves, that he had friends in New York who were much funnier than Woody. I countered with my personal pet peeve of Australian movies (at that time, America was being inundated with Australian movies and they were receiving over the top praise). After a beat, he turned to me with a smile and said, “You see, Woody Allen doesn’t know he’s an Australian.” He was not like anyone else I had met yet he felt familiar. We thought alike.

    Garry mentioned good days he had photographing, rolls he put aside because he knew he had something special on them, good work that hadn’t surfaced yet from Texas. “Tip of the iceberg,” he said about the work of his that had been published or exhibited up to that date. At a public talk, he mentioned Picasso and how Picasso had always been changing and challenging himself (and how that was a good thing). He spoke admiringly of Kertész, whom he said was able to make pictures out of nothing. He would say that if something looked like a picture he wouldn’t photograph it. At the end of a long day, I said I wanted to continue to photograph at dusk and he said, “aah…low contrast…” as if that were a tantalizing possibility. He had a motor drive on his Leica and took two rolls as we walked through a vast parking lot in the twilight. My take on his later work was that Garry was trying to keep his work unfamiliar; he was trying to come up with a new kind of picture, one that hadn’t existed before. 

    On a Sunday in January, 1984, I persuaded Garry to go with me to photograph at the LA Zoo. As I remember, we had a full day of shooting that went on till the light faded. On our way out, Garry spotted Bernadette Peters, the movie and Broadway actress, who was visiting the zoo with her boyfriend. Garry had photographed her before on the set of John Huston’s movie, Annie. She and her boyfriend were dressed in identical jeans, identical (leather?) jackets. Strikingly, they both had the same hairstyle – I don’t know how you would describe their hair - drooping, poodle-like. She threw her head back and shrieked with laughter in reaction to Garry taking their picture. When he sank into the seat of my car, he said, “Boy, you don’t know how tired you are till you sit down.” In February, I called him up to say I had decided to leave town and move back east (I had been struggling with money, a relationship, and in general with finding my footing in LA). His voice sounded terrible on the phone, very weak, and I had no idea what was going on with him – it was shocking. He wished me “the best of luck.” The following month, a couple weeks before my 23rd birthday, I was at my parents’ house in Connecticut and my mother brought me the NY Times. Without saying a word, she pointed to Garry’s obituary. There had been a cancer growing inside of him during the time that I had known him but he hadn’t taken notice of it.

  10. conscientious:

    An image by Josh Quigley, one of the winners of the 2013 Conscientious Portfolio Competition.

    The 2014 edition of the Conscientious Portfolio Competition is now accepting submissions. It’s FREE to enter. This year’s guest judges: Arianna Rinaldo and Thomas Weski. Find all relevant details here.

  11. An image from Laia Abril's The Epilogue. Find my review of this fantastic book here.


  12. lookingforsnapshots:

    Snapshots were usually taken for a clear and simple purpose—to get a rough-and-ready record of the subject. That purpose is so much what we expect to see in a snapshot that the exceptions stand out. Earlier (here and here) I mentioned that very snapshotty class of snapshots whose…

  13. shihlun:

    Nagisa Oshima, The Man Who Left His Will on Film, 1970.

    (Source: milquetoastism)

  14. thevampirequeen:

    Civil Rights Movement vs Ferguson Protests

    (via dvafoto)


  15. "In The New Yorker, Peter Schjeldahl, certainly a man of discriminating tastes, basically announced that there was no way of arguing with his success. Koons is “the signal artist of today’s world,” Schjeldahl wrote. […] “In my observation,” Schjeldahl writes, “Koons’s most ardent detractors skip aesthetic judgment of his art to assert a wish that it not exist.” When Schjeldahl regards Koons’s overblown baubles, what he sees is an authentic aesthetic response to the mind-bending pressures of a global consumer society. Our Gilded Age, so Schjeldahl may imagine, precipitates—empowers, even legitimates—this high-tech kitsch vision. But does it follow that those of us who do not respond to the work are in denial—that we are, whether consciously or unconsciously, delegitimizing a legitimate aesthetic? Is Schjeldahl suggesting that the very existence of the work forces some sort of aesthetic embrace? Must it be appreciated simply because it exists (and sells for so much money)? And where does this leave the average museumgoer, whoever that mythical being might be, who has been told even before walking through the doors of the Whitney that whatever scruples he or she has are suspect?"

    Jed Perl on the Koons Retrospective, a must-read review

    I’d like to think that indeed a real review of this exhibition (artist) must deal with the fact that he has achieved such fame. A real review must deal with the fact that many critics have, in fact, been enablers, rather than critics, when dealing with Jeff Koons.