Guides to Other Land

as we divide, we find ourselves in groups gathered behind different dead. This can be illustrated with tales of two deaths – who notices, how, why.

Some deaths are noticed widely – even by those who did not know the person. Who you notice in death, who makes an absence also made a presence in your life; made a contribution to you even though they may not have known you, acknowledged you while they lived. These people are likely your guides – your markers.

We can know a group by noting who they notice even more than what they talk about. In major matters of life the ends of are the points observed and commemorated. Deaths are noted with encomiums – some sincere, some superstitiously just noted with RIP.

Simultaneous “worlds” of photography operate with relative autonomy. Sociologists and communications researchers studying photography have revealed distinctive spheres of activity in which work routines, photographic styles and evaluative standards differ sharply (Becker 1982; Chalfen 1980; Christopherson 1974a and 1974b; Musello 1980; Phillips 1982; Rosenblum 1978; Schwartz 1983)

Robert Frank  (November 9, 1924 – September 9, 2019) 

On the day Robert Frank died, much of the artworld was publishing obits, showing photos of gatherings at his New York studio. As social networks sprouted tributes ranging from selfies to full scale ZZZ the other world talked of lens standards and standardized images.

Film Forum topics 9.9.2019

Bruce Barlow (June 9, 2019)

They get as far as a Workshop. Characteristically they don’t notice the death of their other online counterparts.

The artworld notices one another — the Snobby Hobby notices the price of cameras.

Texas Photographic Open House

9.21.17 Dallas; tagview: Congenial gathering. I recommend you go, I would attend another such, although I wouldn’t join TPS [not a joiner]

The TPS is older than its name, coming into existence out of the need for group purchasing during the 70s. In 1984 that group became the Texas Photographic Society, a “not-for-profit.” This past week, I attended an open house held at Dallas Center for Photography (DCP).


We were early visitors; there, with most of the tables set up, prints laid out. I didn’t see any other guests, my count of people approximated my count of sets of prints. We had been there about 15 minutes when Amy provided introductory welcome and remarks. It seemed a group of people who were familiar with each other, so much so that they gathered into a large group to talk, leaving their portfolios to speak to any guest, such as Annie and me.
We made two rounds; stopping to pick cards from those interesting portfolios.
Portfolio tours are familiar to me, but not in a club climate. Art school is spent looking, talking, sorting, and rearranging work. Not so this gathering. These were people who filled time with friends, friendships formed because of shared interest. The proficiency level differences weren’t as great as the esthetic differences. There were distinct attract, and satisfy levels to the work presented.
I never met the people who’s work most engaged me. After about half hour, and no additional people entering, Annie and I left. A typical ‘Plex outing: more time on the road than in the event.

My grouping:

tps_5640
my preference

The most interesting work is even more interesting on the web — the sites show clearly the range of ability and duration of their commitment; more so than a table at a photo friends gathering.

  • michaelepner.com. /// was at Kodak… uses scanner
  • shawnsaumell.com. //// mfa painter … these two used same art card.

along with the also present:

  • besstphoto.com   // interesting but why such timid work
  • cabdphotography.com // site not yet up 9.22.17 (still gathering legs)

Those are the ones I’ve put into my follow folder. The people who made extensive use of film, or software didn’t add anything to my time, so you will have to find out about them from others.

 

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unedited notes:

what are the divisions? between prints and cheese, can we tell the will of the artist or the whisper. // an event, a space, populated // the micro of artworld. social space. food. table. work in familiar boxes.// witness not testament