DNS: Rethinking photography

Time • Motion
The eye is limited; technology is not.

Eadweard Muybridge:
The Atlantic
Time Magazine, 100 Most Influential Photos of all time
Muybridge.org (All 11 volumes of “Animal Locomotion”)!!
Review of his biography (good piece in The Guardian)

Harold Edgerton

100 Most Influential Photos

Edgerton Digital Collection

The Man Who Froze The World

The Hubble!

Hubblesite. org

Hubble 25th anniversary, best photos

Hiroshi Sugimito

Theater series

Photography is flat and prints are pristine and you must always make your own imagery.

Sara Angelucci

Artist website

John Stezaker

At Saatchi Gallery

Erik Kessels | 24 hours of Flickr

Flore Gardner | Textile Artist

Penelope Umbrico | Artist website | Interview in A Photo Editor

Walead Beshty | Regen Projects Thomas Dane gallery | MOMA New Photography

MOMA New Photography 2009:. Excellent resource for multiple lens-based artists.

Annette Messager
My Vows (MOMA) | google images link

Boy Barefoot Rider (2013) Holly Roberts

Horse Resting (2014) Holly Roberts


FOAM AMSTERDAM (blog, magazine, gallery, all around awesomeness)



The New Decisive Moment?

Artists to consider:

Jeff Wall
Lori Nix
Adad Hannah






Exhibition at Rijksmuseum [Amsterdam]

Mike Ware’s essay, In Defence of Alternative Processes

Cyanotype video from the awesome George Eastman Museum.
George Eastman Museum Youtube | website | Research resources




Anna Atkins Refracted: Contemporary Works in Cyanotype,
New York Public Library, 2018

• Review of the show | Musée

• Another review in the New York Review of Books


ARTISTS responding to Anna Atkins



• Eric William Carroll | Blue Line of Woods

Ellen Ziegler | Chemistry Is The Emotion of Matter

Meghann Riepenhoff | Littoral Drift

Susan Degeres | Danziger Gallery

Ulf Saupe | Res Navalis


kuniesugiura2• Kunie SugiuraAt MOMA | The Kitten Papers

baum1• Erica Baum | Guggenheim | Aperture Magazine | Ubuweb | Frieze






Letha Wilson | web | Grimm gallery | Galerie Gaillard |

Maria Martinez-Canas | FGT photogram | Traces of Nature Smithsonian Video  |Julie Saul Gallery |

Katherine Hubbard | Bend the Rays More Sharply |



• Penelope Umbrico | Screens, Scans, Suns | web










Photographic Satire on Social Media

Shrek_(character)“The rules of satire are such that it must do more than make you laugh. No matter how amusing it is, it doesn’t count unless you find yourself wincing a little even as you chuckle”

– Some wise guy

What is satire?

The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Elements of Satire – irony, sarcasm, parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, double entendre

4 Techniques – irony, incongruity, exaggeration, reversal



Fountain 1917, replica 1964 by Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917, replica 1964

The use of words to convey something that’s opposite of the literal meaning of the word.

Taking the piss – PHRASE BRITISH IMPOLITE – to say something to try to make someone look silly

take the piss out of

“His friends were taking the piss out of him”.

 Duchamp takes a utilitarian, industrial   object and presents it as art.




Banksy, Rage the Flower Thrower (2005)

To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to its surroundings.







Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q. (1919)

“Elle a chaud au cul,”(She has a nice butt)

Giving Mona Lisa a moustache and goatee, Duchamp plays with gender role reversal.






Exaggeration & Parody


Exaggeration – a representation of something in an excessive manner.

Parody – work created to imitate, make fun of, or comment on an original work.

Image result for rick and morty back to the future

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Sacha Baron Cohen (b. 1971)

Is a British actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer. He is best known for creating and portraying many fictional satirical characters, including Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno, Admiral General Aladeen, Erran Morad, and multiple others. Like his idol Peter Sellers, he adopts a variety of accents and guises for his characters and rarely appears out of character.

Who Is America? is an American political satire television series created by Sacha Baron Cohen that premiered on July 15, 2018, on Showtime. Baron Cohen also stars in the series as various characters and executive produces.

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Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., PhD, a far-right conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed citizen journalist

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Erran Morad, an Israeli anti-terrorism expert, member of the Israeli military, and former agent of Mossad

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Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, a far-left lecturer on gender studies at Reed College, co-principal at Wildfields Poly-Ed, and a Democratic activist who wishes to “heal the divide” in America between conservatives and liberals

Who is America Preview (interview starts 1:01)



Baron Cohen utilizes a wide variety of satirical techniques to make his work successful. He employs two distinct approaches to satirizing political and social issues. One, where his character will highlight the follies, stupidity, or vices of the people he is talking with. This is the case with the clip above. Another tactic he uses is to play an absurd character that parodies, exaggerates and characterizes an idea, social, or political group (see Billy Wayne Ruccick & Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello). By making a fool of himself, he is satirizing his target group.

Baron Cohen’s mesmerizing but terrifying infiltration of these communities is what makes his satirical approaches to these issue so effective. The fact that the ridiculous and obviously fake characters (at least to the viewer) are able to deceive and manipulate their targets is what promotes introspection, and critical thought of current social and political circumstances.

The key is to have the target of the satire be completely unaware that they are in fact being satirized.

Social Media & the ClichImage result for instagram parody logoé

an interesting article on travel photography cliché on instagram: https://www.fieldmag.com/features/instagram-trends-outdoor-cliche-photography

“As in any creative realm you use inspiration of people who’ve already taken that path. And I think in photography, as long as you use it to improve yourself as an artist, and then transition out of that into your own space, I think it’s fine. It’s when you stay in that realm of just riffing off of other stuff, that when it becomes a problem.”

– Mackenzie Duncan, BC based commercial & travel photographer, 17.2k followers

neonnight“People eat it up, they love it. Whatever people are into is going to keep happening.” – @youdidnotsleepthere

What are the problems?

Unoriginality and a facade of innovation

Photographers’ unawareness of their role in keeping clichés thriving

Cookie cutter formulas for success

A subsequent hesitancy to do something different

The Goal

To identify trends and clichés that have seeped into visual culture. To satirize the Instagram portrait community by employing irony, burlesque, incongruity, and exaggeration. To bring a more conscious awareness to our image making and image consuming on online platforms. To highlight the uniformity and contrived nature of highly successful (most liked, shared, copied) image concepts. To expose the visual inaccuracies that are prevalent in popular Instagram portraiture.


Final Project Research


“Creation is an uncontrolled muscle” according to Arik Levy (born 1963).

Artist, technician, photographer, designer, video artist, Levy’s skills are multi–disciplinary and his work can be seen in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. Best known publicly for his sculptures – such as his signature Rock pieces –, his installations, limited editions and design, Levy nevertheless feels “The world is about people, not objects.”

Hailing originally from Israel and moving to Europe after his first participation in a group sculpture exhibition in Tel–Aviv in 1988, Levy currently works in his studio in Paris.

His formation was unconventional where surfing, as well as his art and graphic design studio, took up much of his time back home. Following studies at the Art Center Europe in Switzerland he gained a distinction in Industrial Design in 1991.

After a stint in Japan where he consolidated his ideas producing products and pieces for exhibitions, Levy returned to Europe where he contributed his artistry to another field – contemporary dance and opera by way of set design.

The creation of his firm then meant a foray back to his first love, art and industrial design, as well as other branches of his talents. Respected for his furniture and light designs on all continents, Levy also creates hi–tech clothing lines and accessories for firms in the Far East.

Considering himself now more of a “feeling” artist, Arik Levy continues to contribute substantially to our interior and exterior milieu, his work including public sculpture, as well as complete environments that can be adapted for multi use. “Life is a system of signs and symbols,” he says, “where nothing is quite as it seems.”



I enjoy his work because the materials he uses distort what you are looking at. I find he uses his materials in different forms whether it being a closed form or a bunch of planes stuck together. I enjoy his pieces outside and love how they change throughout the day due to lighting.


Born 1985 in a small village in Canton Valais, Switzerland, surrounded by mountains, Sebastian Magnani discovered photography whilst training as a media designer in 2006. After 5 years as a creative in an advertising agency, he decided 2011 to turn his passion into a profession. Since then he has been making a living as a photographer, based in Zurich Switzerland. He currently works on various subjects and several free projects, like the «Underdogs» and «Undercats», where got a lot of media attention and been published on many newspapers, magazines, websites and tv-shows around the globe.


I enjoy his work because it takes one thing (the sky) and puts it somewhere else (the ground) which kind of makes you question what you are looking at and trying to imagine the environment. I feel like it causes a 2D photo experience to be more immersive as you actually what to know what is happening outside the frame.


Denise Riesen is an award-winning photographer with more then 16 years experience. Her work has varied in style and has evolved as she travels both physically around the world, and through the stages of her own life. Her work expands and alters that of a traditional scene into a complex visual interest. She enjoys the constant challenge of new ways of seeing and the creative output of self expression.

Denise has both studied and photographed extensively throughout the North America and Europe through personal travel and professional involvement. Her work has been shown in a number of galleries within the United States and Mexico. Denise has worked as a photo editor, and curator for a number of exhibits both in Chicago and New York City.

Denise currently works primarily as a freelance photographer and artist based in the Chicago area.


She gave me the idea of water being a reflective surface or a material to distort the surroundings for my photographs.

Final Thoughts

With ideas from these artists I also want to try working with tin foil, glass, mirrors, water, acetate, and cutlery to create a distorted perception of what the viewer is looking at while also creating a visually beautiful image.

Inventive Photography?

Final Project.

I would like to pursue the creation of inventive/surreal photographs that are based off of my own personal drawings, thoughts and experiences. Here are a few artists that inspire me to follow the direction I have chosen. These artist inspire me because of how they work and what they create.

Christopher Mckenney
American Photographer, well known for his “horror photography”. He creates quite interesting, dark and surreal images which often portray people, nature, horror and beauty. Some images appear to be edited, however the use of natural light and recognizable human form have an effective way of delivering an unsettling yet mesmerizing experience for the viewer.

Some of his work:


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Joel-Peter Witkin

Creates dark controversial photography that often deals with allegory, death, corpses and religion. He started taking unsettling photographs that depicted his childhood. He was drafted and enlisted as a combat photographer for three years and recorded on film the bodies of soldiers who have died during training  or committed suicide. Witkin claims that his vision stems from when he was a child he witnessed a car accident which included a young girl being beheaded.

“It happened on a Sunday when my mother was escorting my twin brother and me down the steps of the tenement where we lived. We were going to church. While walking down the hallway to the entrance of the building, we heard an incredible crash mixed with screaming and cries for help. The accident involved three cars, all with families in them. Somehow, in the confusion, I was no longer holding my mother’s hand. At the place where I stood at the curb, I could see something rolling from one of the overturned cars. It stopped at the curb where I stood. It was the head of a little girl. I bent down to touch the face, to speak to it – but before I could touch it someone carried me away.

Some of his work:

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Daniel Richter

Richter is a German artist. Richter often paints in an expressionistic way. He creates art based off his experiences of reality and is also widely known for his large paintings inspired by contemporary culture and mass media. His work has evolved from corybantic abstractions to more  politically driven and representational images.

Some of his work:

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Exhibition View Daniel Richter – Lonely Old Slogans Photo: © Belvedere, Vienna, 2017

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Lonely Old Slogans: Daniel Richter

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Claude Cahun

Widely known for her self portraits where she takes on many different personas. Claude once explained “Under this mask, another mask; I will never finish removing all these faces.”  Claude stood against the way male surrealist artists viewed women, (as objects) and created images of herself which challenged the idea of gender.

some of her work:

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This is a bit of an early stage of research for me in terms of my final project, having said that these artists inspire me for different reasons, furthermore each artist and their work get my ideas flowing and challenge me to think of ways to overcome road blocks which I continue to encounter when thinking about photography and creating surreal images especially ones based off of my personal experiences and drawings.






Photography is not Reality

Erik Johansson:

Conceptual Methodologies

Johansson thinks that traditional photography is not based off of talent, but is about being at the right place at the right time. Anyone can do this. Therefore, he is inspired by creating something where the process of the image starts when you press the trigger. His images have an unexpected twist, but they still retain elements of photographic realism. This is accomplished by creating something that cannot exist in the real world, but appears as it could have been captured as a photograph. These are not photographs that are realistic, but what we think looks realistic. With these, a brief moment is required for the viewer to understand the “trick” in the image; therefore, the importance is more focused on capturing an idea, rather than capturing a moment.

In his TED Talk, he relates his images to optical illusions. This is because they do the same thing as the most important part of his photographs; that is, they combine different realities. Here is the example of the optical illusion that he shows in his TED Talk:


Technical Methodologies

In order to make his photographic ideas come to life, Johansson uses Photoshop to combine elements from different photographs.  Erik Johansson includes three rules when creating his photographs to achieve a realistic result:

  1. Photographs combined should have the same perspective
  2. Photographs combined should have the same type of light
  3. Seamless photographs: make it impossible to distinguish where the different images begin and end

Johansson matches colour, contrast, and brightness in order to make an image compressed of hundreds of different layers look like one singular image.

Formal Methodologies

In contrast to taking a good photograph by being in the right place at the right time, Johansson’s images require lots of planning. As a result of the heavy Photoshop editing that are contained in his images, the more he plans out the idea, the more realistic his image becomes. He starts this process by beginning with a sketch of an idea. Once he takes the photographs, the next step is combining them with Photoshop.

There is often informal balance in his images. The following are great examples of what I am interested in for my final project:

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“All of the tools are out there, the only thing that limits us is our imagination”. 

–  Erik Johansson

Pol Úbeda Hervàs: I’m Not There (Series)

Conceptual Methodologies

Each image has the same pair of shoes placed perfectly, then a shadow of a man wearing the shoes. These suggest a sort of “ghost-like” quality; similar to the images by Johansson, they are doctored images that appear as if they could exist in reality. They are meant to reference the fact who we are at this moment will disappear, but there will be a trail which remains as evidence of your past existence. This relates to the feeling he has that he is constantly changing. Furthermore, these images focus on photography is often human interaction with its surroundings, while these capture the absence of the human from these surroundings of industrial spaces. These are places that humans have created, enforcing the idea again that even if humans are not inhibiting these spaces, they still leave their mark by creating these spaces in the first place.

Technical Methodologies

I could not find anywhere the photographer explains his process, but I assume he had the help of another person, and a tripod. I’m assuming he took two images here, one where he is standing and wearing the shoes, and one where his shoes were placed in the same position where they were when he was standing. Then, I assume he merges the two images together with Photoshop by copying only his shadow in the image he is in, then dragging and aligning it onto the image of just his shoes.

Formal Methodologies

Each image only contains the shoes, shadow, and an empty background within an man-made space. There are no other powerful elements in the image to distract the viewer. There are often leading lines in these spaces, adding more interest for the viewer to allow further looking into the image.

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More References Images from Other Artists


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Photographer: Gustano Terzaghi

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Photographer: Laura Greco

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Photographer: Lee Materazzi


Collage Maker: Deger Bakir












“You feel like the cord to the mother ship has been cut,” she said, “and now you’re floating in space.”

Carol Squiers, curator of the exhibition, What is a Photograph?

Artie Vierkant’s “Image Object Friday 7 June 2013 4:33PM, 2013.”
Higher Pictures, New York


• What Is A Photograph?
| Exhibition at International Center of Photography.
NYTimes Review

THE NEXT BIG PICTURE: With Cameras Optional, The new directions in photography?  Good slide show with this one!

What are we talking about when we talk about photography?
(with apologies to Raymond Carver and if you don’t know who Raymond Carver is, my heart just broke a little)

A copy of the catalog for WHAT IS A PHOTOGRAPHY is available for browsing in the digital lab.



BOOKS and ARTISTS from THE EDGE OF VISIONMarco Breuer Untitled (Fuse), gelatin silver paper, burned, 1996

The Edge of Vision, Revisited.
The Edge of Vision VIDEO INTERVIEWS! with most of the artists!!
Lyle Rexer explains the book’s concept

|Video at MOMA | Abstract Art or Photography

New Photography (2009) at MOMA | Blog with interviews and video

At Marc Foxx gallery

website | exhibition at New York Hortcultural Society of New York

website | Artist in Residence (2014) at the AGO

Article/Interview in BorderCrossings

description of project
TREVOR PAGLEN (the artist who started Dronestragram)

Penelope Umbrico
Article about Penelope Umbrico


| Imaging Saturn (images) | Imaging Saturn blog

Interview about banal but significant objects  | Talking about her work in FeatureShoot.

At David Zwirner Gallery

website | film | At MIT

website | Also search this blog, there are several interviews with her.

Helsinki Schoo

| website | The Day Nobody Died | Interview | At MOMA in the New Photography Show

General link for the New Photography Show at MOMA

At Yossi Milo Gallery | Interview in St.Lucy

2013 Le Mois de la Photo a Montreal


Article about Penelope Umbrico


Photograms for the New Age | At Gagosian Gallery

Website | Video at ICP

website | In Camera-less photography at V&A musuem

CAMERA-LESS PHOTOGRAPHY at the Victoria and Albert Musuem
Directory of Artists (videos) |  Camera-less photography techniques


At Stephen Bulger | Article in Border Crossings


Artists from the powerpoint for Assignment Three: What is Photography?

Guy Fabian Miller
John Pfahl
Liz Deschenes
Uta Barth
Ori Gershl
Martin Klimas
Dean Kessmann
Adam Fuss
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Mike and Doug Starn (The Starn Twins)
Sarah Anne Johnson

Jason Salavon

Robin Rhode | Interview with the artist
Thomas Demand
Holly Roberts
Molly Springfield
Laurie Simmons
Ann Hamilton (sculptor)
Andy Goldsworthy
Thomas Demand
Ruth Thorne Thomsen
Christian Boltanski
Robert Parke Harrison
Dieter Appelt
David Levinthal
Helen Van Meene
Laurie Simmons
Ann Hamilton (sculptor)
Andy Goldsworthy
Thomas Demand
Ruth Thorne Thomsen
Christian Boltanski
Robert Parke Harrison
Dieter Appelt
David Levinthal
Helen Van Meene
Abelardo Morell (amazing camera obscura)
Vik Muniz
Sigmar Polke
Gordon Matta-Clark
Aspen Mays

THE ROOT of Photography and how it relates to painting
Watch: David Hockney’s, A Secret Knowledge, (part 1), (part 2), (part 3).

A contemporary film where a non-artist makes a camera obscura and tries to paint like Vermeer. (It’s great!) TIM’S VERMEER

And finally, thinking about drawing!

Paul Chiappe

These are tiny tiny tiny drawings, based on vintage, found, photographs. Go here (it’s a great site) for more information


(Interviews with photographers)



Go here. It’s an amazing resource of artists.



All Images are from the NPR Picture Show blog. Lawrence with the 49-pound “Captive Airship.” Courtesy of the Lawrence Family

Before drones (and projects like Dronestagram) were used for photographic surveillance, people relied on balloons, kites and pigeons.  The camera in the above image was large enough to shoot large format film and required 9-17 kites to lift it.

San Francisco Bay, 1906

Read the rest of the article and see more images here.


A selection of images and pigeon cams | more about the origins, history and application | uses during war | The Pigeon Spy |





After our conversation yesterday about the tension between analog and digital/fast and slow, I thought Emma and others would be interested in Bruno Ribeiro’s absurdist interpretation of Instagram.

And while we’re talking about Instagram, it’s worth mentioning, yet again, Dronestagram. And this:  Le Mois de la Photo a Montreal was Drone: The Automated Image. Search the site for better yet, download the program.





Experiment #3 Drawing and photography

The artwork of Trevor and Ryan Oakes—identical twins who use drawing to investigate vision and sometimes mimic the results of a camera obscura. The Oakes produce their drawings on curved paper, because the curved surface mimics they way light enters the eye. The video won’t embed, so watch it http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003056293&playerType=embed” target=”_blank”>here.

Read more about the artists in this piece: Redrawing an iconic photograph with camera-like precision from The New York Times.

The video references this iconic image, Edward Steichen’s, The Flatiron Building, (1905)


Another video of the Oakes drawing machine:



Experiment #3 Hillman Photography Initiative • SELFIE CITY

Hillman Photography Initiative.

The Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) investigates the lifecycle of images: their creation, transmission, consumption, storage, potential loss, and reemergence. Technology accelerates the pace of this cycle, and often alters or redirects the trajectory of an image in unexpected, powerful ways.

The Hillman Photography Initiative is an incubator for innovative thinking on the photographic image. The Initiative centers around four projects that, taken together, investigate the boundaries and possibilities of photography through the way that an image travels. Conceived through an open, discursive process, unique in a museum setting, these projects include live public events at the museum, a pop-up reading room in the galleries, two collaborative web-based projects, and a series of commissions, including documentary videos, art projects, and writing. This website is designed to foster public conversations around the larger story that these four projects tell, and knit them together in a single experience.


The Hillman Photography Initiative has so many cool projects: Orphaned Images, The Invisible Photography, I’m especially excited for the upcoming issue about Physics and photographic processes! (nerd), and This Picture, which asks people to stop, look and respond to one image at a time. One image at a time—how we should all be looking. Looking, not swiping through SnapChat and Instagram.



RETHINKING what is a PORTRAIT? Experiment #2 (part 2)

Student work!

Kids With Santa, from the project, “100 Special Moments

Portraits | Playboy | 100 Special Moments | Short statement


Ice Watch Paris | The Weather Project at TATE MODERN | Studio Olafur Eliasson

NADAV ASSOR | Lessons On Leaving The Body | Julie M gallery



Robert Burley

From the exhibit: The Disappearance of Darkeness.
An entire blog about Photography in a Post-Photographic Age


Why We Walk (above photo) |

Other projects:
Between Liberties (A project about immigration) |
Look at all of his “longterm projects” they are all poignant and beautifully shot.

| THE HUMAN RACE MACHINE | Early Composites | Early Work, Clamp Art (decently sized images)


Matthew Marks gallery | MOMA
His Animations at DHC/ART in Montreal.

Andrea Rosen |

The Hotel Series | Thesis on Hotel Series | At the TATE (full screen images)

Whitechapel Gallery (London) | Review in The Guardian

Review/Essay in FRIEZE | Images |

Medicine Cabinets

Lick and Lather  | Luhring Augustine (gallery) | Art 21 video



Machine Drawings

Text at Guggenheim | Game Time

Nine Eyes of Google Street View | Essay

Other artists to consider: Catherine Opie, Annette Messager, Chris Ironside, Cindy Sherman, Yoon Sung Min (Dwelling)

Museum of Contemporary Photography | The Creator’s Project, overview

Museum of Contemporary Photography | The Creator’s Project, overview