From: Bob Kiss ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/29/04-02:07:07 PM Z
Message-id: <>

        I was away when the "edition" thread was going on but I am catching up. I
was THRILLED to see that there were no real objections to the idea of
editions. So many things that we buy in our daily lives have their prices
(and investment values) established by controlling the supply part of the
supply/demand curve such as the gasoline in my car, the gold and diamond in
my wife's engagement ring, prescription anyone old enough to
remember the artificially created "coffee shortage" that drove prices up
with the end result that they never quite returned to their original level?
I am happy that I didn't find anyone who lived in the ivory tower of calling
photo print editioning "not real world" when the real world is rife with
controlled supply. And though I create photos out of love, I gotta eat so I
sell them.
        Happily, most everyone seemed to agree: First think carefully about what
you want to do with a given negative/image, state or disclose it honestly,
and then stick to it. If you're not sure, say, "Other editions may be made
in other sizes/media" or, as so many suggested, just don't sell your prints
as limited editions.
        There was a similar thread in 1998 when I first joined the list. I had just
sat down at the computer after spending four hours cleaning glass plate
negatives of Barbados, made between 1880 and 1937, for which I am the
archivist/conservator. I pointed out that I had always been taught NOT to
destroy negatives due to their intrinsic value as historical documents
regardless of their original purpose (such as the very collection on which I
was working). Gallery owners and dealers in NYC that I knew had their
photographers retire the negatives to a vault for 100 years. Unless there
are serious and sudden improvements in medical science it is unlikely that
any of us will be around to make more prints at that time but the negatives
will be available for historical, sociological, and other forms of research.
And if anyone does a posthumous edition, it has been proven that these
re-prints actually promote and increase the value of the originals made "by
the artist" by raising the consciousness of the collectors. This certainly
protects the (estate of) the original collector's investment.
        It isn't ego. Your work can't be evaluated by future generations if it
isn't there and there is no guarantee that the prints will survive the
diaspora or be available. So, store those negs, don't destroy them.

Please check my website:
Received on Thu Jul 29 15:06:56 2004

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