in defense of the poor image

http://www.e-flux.com/journal/10/61362/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/

Carlos Saladén Vargas – Fish story (detail). 2016

“The poor image is a copy in motion. Its quality is bad, its resolution substandard. As it accelerates, it deteriorates. It is a ghost of an image, a preview, a thumbnail, an errant idea, an itinerant image distributed for free, squeezed through slow digital connections, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as well as copied and pasted into other channels of distribution.

The poor image is a rag or a rip; an AVI or a JPEG, a lumpen proletarian in the class society of appearances, ranked and valued according to its resolution. The poor image has been uploaded, downloaded, shared, reformatted, and reedited. It transforms quality into accessibility, exhibition value into cult value, films into clips, contemplation into distraction. The image is liberated from the vaults of cinemas and archives and thrust into digital uncertainty, at the expense of its own substance. The poor image tends towards abstraction: it is a visual idea in its very becoming.

The poor image is an illicit fifth-generation bastard of an original image. Its genealogy is dubious. Its filenames are deliberately misspelled. It often defies patrimony, national culture, or indeed copyright. It is passed on as a lure, a decoy, an index, or as a reminder of its former visual self. It mocks the promises of digital technology. Not only is it often degraded to the point of being just a hurried blur, one even doubts whether it could be called an image at all. Only digital technology could produce such a dilapidated image in the first place.

Poor images are the contemporary Wretched of the Screen, the debris of audiovisual production, the trash that washes up on the digital economies’ shores. They testify to the violent dislocation, transferrals, and displacement of images—their acceleration and circulation within the vicious cycles of audiovisual capitalism. Poor images are dragged around the globe as commodities or their effigies, as gifts or as bounty. They spread pleasure or death threats, conspiracy theories or bootlegs, resistance or stultification. Poor images show the rare, the obvious, and the unbelievable—that is, if we can still manage to decipher it.”

against the grain

http://www.americansuburbx.com/2016/11/allan-sekula-against-the-grain-an-interview-with-david-campany.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Americansuburb+%28ASX+%7C+AMERICAN+SUBURB+X+%7C+Photography+%26+Culture%29

Experimental documentary photography was regarded as an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Interestingly, documentary filmmaking had always preserved a much more vital and sovereign relation to the experimental.

we should be fucking the rich with photography

https://colinpantall.blogspot.com.co/2016/11/partisan-versus-balanced-honest-versus.html

“More people should be partisan. More photographers should be partisan. Should call people bastards and point the finger. I wonder (every year pretty much on this blog) why they aren’t. So many photographers profess to be progressive and get outraged about exploitation in photography and the like, yet fail to reflect that in the overwhelmingly dull work that often passes for photojournalism or documentary.

I’m not sure why that is. I guess it’s because there’s still the myth of the objective truth-telling photographer and there is the dominating voice of documentary – which is one of sobriety. But really! The sober voice is a boring voice. You should be shouting abuse and throwing things.

The other reason is photographers are scared of offending those who might potentially give them custom and help them make a living. You don’t want to offend the wealthy and powerful; they own the magazines, the companies, the galleries, the universities, the foundations, they publish your work, they buy your work, they commission your work, they show your work.

Essentially we should be fucking the rich with photography, not literally, but metaphorically. Instead, photography is, as always, serving the rich, it is giving it a right royal tongue-up-the-arse servicing. How did that happen? How does it continue to happen? Or am I missing something?”

my experience with the top fashion houses of our time

https://artforum.com/inprint/issue=201605&id=59522

PHILIP-LORCA DICORCIA W, March 2000, #10, 2000

PHILIP-LORCA DICORCIA
W, March 2000, #10, 2000

“Contemporary art is a cock ring on a giant erection pumped up by capitalism and keeping the masters of that game from cumming. I think they like it. I think the artists like it, too. They get to pretend to be profound. Some are. Most are hemorrhoids waiting to happen. The blood that pumps it all up is money. Green blood.”

i don’t have to be a photographer

http://unitednationsofphotography.com/2016/01/22/im-a-photographer-and-i-have-a-problem/

“Meeting the people at the soup kitchen was a new experience for me. I was meeting new people, without the security of the camera to hide behind, without feeling that I had to take something away with me. We talked to each other because we wanted to. There was a brief temptation to photograph the people, but I felt I would have been ‘taking’ something from people who had nothing.

I can pinpoint the exact turning point in my life. I was walking my dog one November morning when I realised that I didn’t have to be unhappy. Encouraged by my work at the soup-kitchen, I had enrolled on a counselling course. Here I had discovered that I had choices. I didn’t have to be a photographer.”