What Is An Image?

“Phantom limb pleasure!”


Lynda Barry: https://vimeo.com/127975211

A Plethora of W. o’ W.: Mary Ellen Mark, 1940-2015



Scan 46 copy


…via Kyle Cassidy.

Small samples: talk to people. Don’t editorialize.




Feliz Cumple, Diane Nemerov

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”








It’s The Big 85 For Ornette!


Cecil comes to the party and he’s all “Y’know, I’m still a year older than thou.”

Check out how thought-through Ornette Coleman’s music really is:

Q. o’ th’ D.: Robert Zimmerman


“Critics have made a career out of accusing me of having a career of confounding expectations. Really? Because that’s all I do. That’s how I think about it. Confounding expectations.

‘What do you do for a living, man?’

‘Oh, I confound expectations.’

You’re going to get a job, the man says, ‘What do you do?’ ‘Oh, confound expectations.’ And the man says, ‘Well, we already have that spot filled. Call us back. Or don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ Confounding expectations. What does that mean? ‘Why me, Lord? I’d confound them, but I don’t know how to do it.'”

Joel, Daily

Better late than never: Joel Meyerowitz is posting (at least) a picture a day for this calendar year, along with more text than yours truly usually provides. (For anything.) And you can hear his voice in that text. jan-29-l1025728

“I let nothing happen without considering it an opportunity to see freshly what I think I already know.

“I am responsible for everything in the frame, and if that is a given, then I must validate it by seeing everything there is to see, and knowing that opens up my mind (the mind’s eye) which makes me more alert to seeing what else there may be nearby.

“This process of cumulative engagement is what I find so thrilling about the act of making photographs. It is ongoing and ever stimulating. One never knows what is coming next.”


Aaron Siskind’s Own Distillations


“When you make a picture by yourself… and you look at it, just looking at it is one thing and then when you show it in class for other people to see, it’s something else. Sometimes, the pleasure from the picture disappears completely, the meaning of the picture, the value of the picture. Then when you take that same group of pictures and you put it up in a public place, it is something else again. The picture is being given a trial at various stages; it is being tested. You see it differently; you see it on the wall; you see it more in relation to other pictures, or you think about it in that way. So that there are various conditions under which you see it. In the book it is different, too. So all these conditions will arouse different kinds of thought, different kinds of feeling. Hell, what else do you want from a picture.”


“We don’t know what photography is. Photography is what people make it. All it is is just a matter of definition and a definition is merely a matter of convenience. Any statement of what photography is always comes after the photography has been done, it doesn’t come before. So the definition to a large extent is determined by the practice, and I think it is too early to say you can do this, you can do that, and you can’t do the other thing.People are trying to protect their little area and it is a lot of nonsense. Sometimes the motivations are clean and clear and other times they are not. You use whatever you can or you use whatever people around you are using, so that they can understand what you are doing. Nobody make photography by themselves; it is all made in groups. People are influenced by each other. All of these statements about what is right and what is wrong about photography is a wrong way to approach it. Then again, it is what is meaningful, what is beautiful, what is exciting, what is esoteric, what realizes certain ideas you have—ideas of forms and so forth. Those are the things that matter. And in the end what matters is the pleasure you get out of it. Not fun-pleasure, but deep-pleasure.After all, art is not necessary; it is an ornament.It is something else, something that flows out of the civilized parts of our nature. You can live without it, but you live much better with it.”



Art Sinsabaugh



“My collection has a nice, utilitarian use, or a cross-discipline use. In many respects, these photographs can’t be done again, because the landscape has changed. The way it looked in the past doesn’t exist anymore, except in someone’s memory. To show you where I am, I like it when retired people want to buy prints to take with them when they leave the Midwest. People send my book out like a postcard. There’s nothing wrong with that.”



“The attitude that considers photography ‘art’ is wrong to me. I’d really rather call myself a photographer than an ‘artist.’ I don’t know the difference, except I have the term ‘arty-farty’ in mind. I’m not rejecting the fact that my photographs are in art museum collections, but I’m not pursuing my work for that reason. I do it for myself.”





1. As always, click on the images to enlarge.

2. This is post #800. Yay.

Vijay Iyer


“I’m not balanced; I’m imbalanced. It’s a scramble being an artist in America. I guess in my case, I’ve taken on more challenges than necessary. It’s probably because as an artist you want to keep growing and keep learning and transforming. What all these things do for me is they lead me somewhere outside of myself, and that’s nourishing. Because otherwise, I’ll just be spiraling in the same area forever—and that sounds, to me, terrifying. Not to say that you can’t stay with one thing and go deeper in; that’s also very enriching.”

Lewis Baltz, 1945-2014

“Being a White Anglo-Saxon Straight Male, I brought a certain ethic to my job, trying to give a good day’s work for fair pay. So, I always took it seriously, and did it as well as I could. But it was never near my heart. I was always an artist who supported himself by teaching.” Unknown

“It might be more useful, if not necessarily more true, to think of photography as a narrow, deep area between the novel and film.”

images “This was the richest, most powerful country in the world, and what did it do? It made shopping malls, tract houses, industrial parks…” http://bcove.me/z4z4byh1 Unknown-1 “…I never had much confidence in art that was scolding people. I don’t want to say that late Capitalism is wrong and that we shouldn’t do it. It’s more interesting to plant doubt in people’s minds…”