I’ve been trying to put something more substantive together today but I’m just a little too under the gun with my Aftermath Project proposal being due soon and an out of town assignment this weekend for the Fader … so here is a quick roundup of things I’ve been reading and been interested in the last few days, all of which probably deserve a larger post themselves. As a side note: I have GOT to cut down on my RSS intake … you’ll see from the mess of sources I’m giving you today… (Pictures are from my trip to Wenatchee earlier this month)
First, some great great music for you to put on while chewing through all the tribulations of the week. The Elephant Six Collective, which produced such great bands as Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control, and now well-known groups The Apples in Stereo and Of Montreal, is out doing a ‘Holiday Surprise Tour’ around the country. One of the big surprises is that the elusive Jeff Mangum, leader of Neutral Milk Hotel, has shown up and played with his friends. Go here for a full two and a half hour concert: Elephant Six Orchestra on All Songs Considered. (All Songs Considered is rad, if you don’t know it, and they have a great podcast feed). Also, a youtube clip of “Glue” by The Gerbils (!!) performed at SUNY Purchase.
In a great roundup of all the craziness going on around the industry (magazines closing, scaling back, people losing jobs) Whats the Jackanory! tells us to keep our chins up. I’ll try man, I’ll try.
I might be the last photographer to have started following Jörg Colberg on his great blog Conscientious, but I’ve been enjoying it recently. He is making a thought-provoking push for us to reexamine the visual language of photojournalism. And is giving examples here. (Plus today, What is photojournalism anyways?, a brilliant question). I’m very conflicted, and this deserves a lot of thought and consideration and many of its own blog posts. Not least of which is I love the work as it is, it means a lot to me, and that Majoli picture he points to is from a project/book (Leros) that is very important to me and what I know as great work.
You should chime in yourself with some of the discussions going on: Lightstalkers has a thread titled ‘Well someone had to say it sooner or later’ and Alec Soth baits us with “Does photojournalism make you verklempt?” on the Magnum Blog.
On Drinking With A Dead Man John Loomis gives us a nice rundown of where he sources his mailers and portfolio materials in another nice behind-the-scenes business post.
Digital Railroad continues its superheated implosion with news coming from all over the place… I recommend reading the top of Lightstalkers message board for all of the latest. Frankly, whatever I post right now will be old news by time you read it.. this is a fast-moving story. (Newest I have is that web-portfolio house Livebooks, who does my website for example, is also getting in on the fallout and offering deals to switch over from DRR (reports PDN)).
Part of my insanity over my rss-load is coming from my new subscription to insanely productive blogger Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish at The Atlantic. That link is to an angry post that he did about Palin’s medical records; he also provided me with this gem of a link to a blogging 80something woman. Called ‘What was I thinking when I called Sarah Palin a Bitch’. Sullivan came recommended to me by editor of Slate.com David Plotz, through their Gabfest.
I’ve been pretty disappointed with most of the work coming out of Magnum|Insight over the past week, I must admit, but there are some interesting things. Particularly Alessandra Sanguinetti’s work from Los Angeles and, more for the story than pictures, Mikhail Subotzky’s Between Rome and New York.
On the other hand, this is a must see: photographer Alan Chin at McCain/Palin Rally over at BAGNewsnotes. This is a smart photographer, on a very smart blog. (I wrote about him earlier, here).
In other pictures, you really really must also check out Vanessa Winship and her work from the Balkans and Black Sea. More info to come, but we hope to interview Winship soon here on DVA….
Related, take a look at this trove of great videos of lectures/projections over at Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hanover, Germany. I found it searching for Vanessa Winship, but it also includes (maybe not all in English) presentations by Thomas Höpker, Steve McCurry, Antonin Kratochvil, Thomas Dworzak (can’t wait to find the time to watch this one especially), Heidi und Hans-Jürgen Koch and Kai Wiedenhöfer.
Got some more bad news the other day: the National Geographic Society has suspended all grants for the rest of the year, “in efforts to cope with the current economic situation.” I have been in the running for a Young Explorers Grant for my as-yet-publicly-announced Russia project. Maybe in the Spring.. bummer.
I’ve known Jehad Nga’s work for awhile now, and saw some of his pictures at his exhibition at Bonni Benrubi (and direct link), with Paolo Pellegrin, early this summer. But I was alerted to a new story he has done about Somali Pirates called “Pirates, Inc”. (note: unfortunately it is impossible to link directly to his stories on his site, so click on ‘From Here on In-Galleries’ and choose the title of the story). Terrific work, on a story that I’ve been thinking about a little bit. Best of luck to him too at the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass going on soon in Amsterdam. You can see his essay for that on his site too, My Shadow, My Opponent, about boxers in the Kibera slum of Nairobi. Such great color…
Last, in breaking music news, Zach Condon, better known for his group Beirut, will be releasing new music soon, including some surprises (electronic music??). Read this interview over at Pitchfork.
If you’d like more pictures from me, have a look over at the updated ‘Recent Work’ section of my website — www.mattlutton.com.
Endnote: as you can probably see I ended up taking some hours to put this post together … what started as a cop out of an actual post became my procrastination tool. Damn.