RE: Crappy/Krappy

From: Jonathan Bailey ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/02/05-07:57:15 PM Z
Message-id: <>

Schuyler (and Co.),

As many people on this list know, the majority of what I've been exhibiting
for the past 20+ years has been made with a plastic Diana camera. However, I
no longer mention that fact unless asked: there are simply too many people
using plastic cameras to make "plastic camera images" and credibility has
been strained.

I use the Diana to make the best possible images the camera (and I) can
make. I believe craftsmanship is *terribly* important! I simply choose to
work with a tool that offers only "so much" possible control. I don't trust
myself to know when control becomes a self-justifying condition - which can
squash something delicate and elusive.

Schuyler, I wonder from your comments if you are not confusing "randomness"
with the "accidental" or the "serendipitous." These are quite different
things. Randomness is the, "Oh, whatever...." attitude I've frequently seen
when viewing plastic and low-tech camera images. Serendipity happens when
you offer yourself to a situation, while remaining attentive and receptive -
but relaxed. It's a situation where in you remain in complete control -
while choosing to not influence events. If we are lucky, a little door
sometimes opens in those situations - a window of opportunity. If we are on
top of our game we're able to respond - and we can come away with some kind
of evidence. It has the feeling of magic - and it's the way I like feel in
the world. Like a little magic is possible. The camera is just there to
record the event. And, I feel the best camera to use in these situations -
the best tool - is the Diana. It's a camera I know well and have come to
trust completely. FWIW - and, much to several people's consternation, it's
the only camera I brought with me on my month-long trip to photograph
icebergs in Newfoundland last June. (Well, OK, I actually I brought seven
of them. But, still....)

I co-curated an exhibition entitled "Prospect of Light - Images From Plastic
and Pinhole Cameras" last January at University of Maine's Museum of Art.
If you are interested in seeing those images please visit my website. The
exhibition - and accompanying text, perhaps germane to this discussion - is
available there for viewing in its entirety. Please also note, this show is
traveling to The University of New Hampshire's Art Gallery opening on
January 19th (through April 20th). It's also slated to travel to The Baldwin
Photographic Gallery at MTSU in Tennessee in the fall.

As for Soho Photo's "Krappy Camera" exhibition (a title I have long
disliked): I've decided not to send work for consideration - in spite of my
respect and admiration for the juror, Dan Burkholder (although hearing he
was the juror gave me pause). See my first paragraph for details....

Happy New Year!!

Received on Mon Jan 3 03:27:35 2005

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