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Time Capsule 1973: Collier’s Encyclopedia Yearbook

Rereading this encyclopeida entry on the year 1973 in photography at a remove of four decades, I find it pleasantly surprising to see what a diversity of issues I managed to address (even if fleetingly) in the stripped-down style mandated by the encyclopedia’s editorial guidelines. Some of the ideas alluded to here in miniature would ripen into substantial future essays: on the autobiographical mode in photography, censorship in photographym, and the definition and integrity of the body of work. [...]

No End of “Innocence”

Apparently it’s a gift that keeps on giving. There’s simply no end to the Innocence of Muslims story. Now the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Google must remove from YouTube all versions of Mark Basseley Youssef’s anti-Islam provocation. [...]

Across the Great Divide (3)

When I can immediately and decisively disprove part of a book’s opening statement its credibility suffers, and my interest wanes. Having my own words and positions distorted to buttress Peggy Cousineau-Levine’s rationale for her study certainly didn’t help me engage with her project. If that’s what Canadians need in order to validate their sense of autonomous cultural identity, they stand on very shaky ground. [...]

Across the Great Divide (2)

Arguing that only a Canadian can understand Canadian photography verges on solipsism. And chastising non-Canadians for not venturing their considerations of such Canadianness, which Canadians would reasonably consider presumptuous, creates a double-bind stuation. [...]

Across the Great Divide (1)

Chancing upon Cousineau-Levine’s volume at a book party in Montreal when it came out, I was amused to open it back in my hotel room only to find it had as its jumping-off point this extreme misinterpretation of my work by a Canadian ― a grammatical misreading that serves as the partial foundation for her entire book. Thus, in her opening paragraphs, Cousineau-Levine undermines her own subsequent argument and impeaches her own scholarship. [...]