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“The True Meaning of Pictures” (2)

In the adult world where, since 1967, I’ve done my professional work as a critic and cultural journalist — a universe separate from yet parallel to that inhabited by bloggers like Ferdinand, and connected by unpredictable wormholes — you don’t get to publish a fabricated quote at your blog and then, when caught at it and called on it, apologize privately in an email. Concocting a fake quote constitutes a punishable offense; in my world, people lose their jobs over such unethical behavior. [...]

“The True Meaning of Pictures” (1)

There is to me a curious tension in Shelby Lee Adams’s project between his commitment and feeling that he comes out of this place, he’s representing this place, he loves these people, etc. ― which I don’t doubt for a minute ― and the fact that the cumulative picture often shows me people who I really wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley at night. [...]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (12)

My investigation of the circumstances surrounding Robert Capa’s images of Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the subsequent fate of his negatives, continues apace. I will publish some major findings at the end of this month. In the meantime, I’ll fill in some of the blanks in the story so far.

I’ve taken to [...]

Dog Day Afternoons: Bits & Pieces (6)

Why shouldn’t the concept of authorship extend beyond the anthropocentric? Why can’t a monkey own the rights to his own selfie? Does the distinction between human and non-human production apply only to the animal kingdom, or does it extend to any method of generating images that does not involve direct human agency? What about images made by devices endowed with artificial intelligence? [...]

What Happened in Vegas (2)

What is striking about current work is its diversity of style and mood, its attention to the sensuous and tactile, and its insistence on encompassing not only a wide range of sexual behaviors but also a full spectrum of sexual moods. This collective accomplishment unquestionably denotes a raising of the bar for what David Steinberg calls “sexual photography” — an embrace of the true complexity of sex at the present-day intersection of sex and photography. [...]