Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs, from the untitled Polaroids series

I just stumbled upon the website of Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs (TONK), a swiss pair that create photographs of knowing gestures about the nature of the medium itself. Especial favorites of mine are the Cameramen series, Twilight Switch / Factoiden, and the untitled Polaroid series, but all their work has a certain weird ambiguity to it. I find the site design itself pretty incredibly charming too, so, if only for that, I’d be pointing you to them anyways.


Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

[Logging : felled trees] from the NYPL’s Canadiana collection.

I spent a couple hours today searching through the New York Public Librairy’s digitized collection. There’s alot of stuff in there, including an entire sub-collection dedicated to Canadiana. Take a look.

Europa Film Treasures

Saturday, January 24th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

Robinet Boxeur
A still from the Italian film, Robinet Boxeur

A little off topic, but well worth a look: The Europa Film Treasures archive is a collaboration of film archives from all over Europe. It’s a big grab bag of European films, from a wide range of years, but a lot of fun to wander through. Kind of like Ubu Web, but less self-conciously avant-garde. Go take a look – They’re adding films all the time.

Bad At Sports

Sunday, January 18th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

I’ve been really rocking the Bad At Sports podcast, a Chicago-centric podcast and blog. Its thought provoking, interesting, and covers a wide range of topics and interests. It’s not particularly photo focused, but I encourage a listen. One of my favorite recent podcasts was their interview with Edward Winkleman, of the Winkleman Gallery and Edward Winkleman blog, which contains thoughts on the current economy, the relationship between collectors, dealers, and artists, and advice for young artists. I transcribed some below, but it’s really worth listening to the entire thing.

Edward Winkleman: I think the explosion [of the art market, and specifically the emerging art market], quite frankly goes hand in hand with all the disposable income that the booking economy brought to folks. At a certain point after you’ve got three homes and four cars you wonder what else you might spend your money on. I’ll be honest, I don’t think there is anything as fun to spend your money on as art. I really believe that. Because it’s entire marketing overview is to provide a way for you to rise above the concerns of your day to day life. It’s for you to kind of see something beyond the sort of pettiness that may consume you and keep you awake at nights. Alot of collectors come in [to the Winkleman Gallery] and say, “This is how I relax. This is enjoying for me. This is fun for me.”

Duncan Mackenzie: Where else can you purchase something that you can touch and talk to the person who made it; that you have a very direct relationship with it; that you become a participant in a small community of people who are engaged in a cultural task that is providing an incredible value for them and the history and for that artist and… I feel that it’s really direct. You get to participate in somebody else’s world. But it’s different than buying a car.

Edward Winkleman: No, it totally is. Something my former business partner, Joshua Stern, who got his MFA at CalArts and is steeped in this conceptual approach to artmaking there… And I forget which of his instructors said it, but one of them said, “Really super-wealthy people love artists because artists are the only people in the world who will tell them to go fuck themselves…” And I think, to a large degree, that’s kind of the attraction…

Clémence de Limburg

Thursday, January 15th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

Clémence de Limburg
Cl√©mence de Limburg, from her project ‘Satmar’

Cl√©mence de Limburg, like Jessica Dimmock, graduated from ICP‘s documentary photography program. And like Dimmock, de Limburg’s work is concerned with exploring and exposing a self-isolated community within the city. Instead of heroin addicts, de Limburg’s work is concerned with the Satmar Hasidic Jewish community in New York – she’s shot them on her own and for a really interesting article that appeared in New York Magazine last summer.

Space Photography

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

Apollo 11
Buzz Aldrin looking out a window of Apollo 11, taken by Mike Collins

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I love, love, love, science photography, and specifically space photography. Aesthetically, these photographs and video are frequently awe-inspiringly cool, as evidenced in part by the photos from the Cassini probe featured a while back on The Big Picture. Or, even better, the film ‘Brilliant Noise,’ by UK duo Semiconductor, using only images of the sun taken from various telescopes and satelites and set to sound, which was the highlight of last year’s Nuit Blanche here in Paris.

My favorite recent find was a short post on Concientious back in August:

While looking for something entirely different today I found an archive with unedited scans of the Hasselblad cameras used aboard the Apollo 7 till 17 mission: Go here, and then click on “Full Hasselblad Magazines.” That way, you can look at the contact sheets of the Apollo space missions.

These images are alot of fun to sift through, and I encourage you sto spend some time with them. They reek of both the quietness of space as well as a testoserone fueled 60’s utopianism that led to one of humankind’s greatest achievements.

Looking at them again reminds me of a piece of information that I picked up about the cameras that took many of these pictures. These cameras were modified Hasselblads that were used in conjunction with preloaded backs with special Kodak film (an engrossing history of early space photography can be found here). Two camera bodies were taken down to the lunar surface during the original moonwalk, but, due to weight restrictions, during liftoff, these cameras were left on the lunar surface while the backs were taken back to earth. Somewhere on the moon, there sits a series of lightly-used one of a kind Hasselblads, waiting for some ridiculously ardent camera collector to find…

Kim Boske

Sunday, January 11th, 2009 - Nicholas Calcott

Stills from Kim Boske’s movie ‘Garden’

I know, taking off so much time from this blog is not good for my readership. Well, I’m back, and happy to wish you a happy New Year.

And for my first post of the year, I’d like to direct your attention to the work of Kim Boske, a dutch photographer who takes a sidelong glance at nature. Her work includes (the almost obligatory) rephotographing of natural history museum still lives, but has since grown in ambition to encompass oblique stories of decay, gardening, dark flower still lives, and moving trees. Go take a look here.