Portraits

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

I’m working on a really really long post that I’ll probably end up posting in multiple parts, so nothing today but a pointer to Robert Wright’s Dear Recalcitrant Portrait Subject, which marks a return to photoblogging and begins:

Do not bore me with your protestations. I have heard them all before. Yes I know Karl Lagerfeld photographed you recently and better, barely containing his joy behind those dark sunglasses and tight white collar. Ryan McGinley similarly found the pale of your flesh fetching as you tumbled out of your jeans in the soft desert night aglow with sparklers, a bitten peach spilling juice down your pimply chin.

The rest is a gem.  Check it out here.

Collectors

Friday, November 13th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

from The Past Tense of Pictures
Two memento mori from The Past Tense of Pictures

So, clearly I’ve been busy or otherwise I’d have been on here writing more. More soon, but to hold your attention a brief post pointing you towards The Past Tense of Pictures, a site by Jack and Beverly Wilgus (maybe the most adorable photo couple I’ve come across) that somehow found it’s way to my folder of links long enough ago that I forgot where I first saw it. It appears to be a private collection of daguerreotypes and other old photographs that functions as a low-tech stock photo site, and there are some real gems in there. Also, I really love the weird site design and unattractive brown borders – it seems to oddly fit the subject matter…

Check out also Bright Bytes, the mother site of past tense of pictures, that also has links to other strange photo related sites, like Not to Scale and A Collection of Collections.

Portraits

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

VideoMate
Still from VideoMate montage

Sorry – Another throwaway post before a longer one on Friday…

Anyways, AFC had a link, recently, to Ethereal Others, a web art project that I absolutely absolutely love, by Harm van den Dorpel.  Ethereal Others is the counterpart to Ethereal Self, a site that inputs an image from your webcam and outputs it as a weird, faceted kaleidoscope.  Little do the users know, but the webcam also captures an image which is then sent on to Ethereal Others and archived there.  The result is a huge survey of portraits.  More than all that, though, Ethereal Others is the internet version of people-watching – you can scroll while comparing faces, backgrounds, etc., checking out cute girls/boys, trying to figure out what this is an accurate sampling of: Internet users, art school students, AFC readers, those interested in net art?

The second link I’d like to direct you to is a phenomenal video on Ian Alexander Adam’s blog.  I won’t spoil it by describing it to you, but please go watch it.

Both Ethereal Others and the sources from which the video is taken are interesting takes on portraiture – One assumes that you can relate something essential about oneself through a screen and the other seems to assume that all that is relatable is one’s appearance, or, at most, socio-economic info gleaned from one’s clothes and background…

P.S.  Also, Hippolyte Bayard tracked down one of those Downfall videos, this one on Kodachrome.  I think it may be the best way of addressing that subject.