Re: on the bright side -- was Re: Kodak B&W Paper Discontinued? News from Ilford at least...

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/24/05-04:31:06 PM Z
Message-id: <42E416AA.2CD@pacifier.com>

So glad to hear Chris Jordan has hit the big time; I've long been a
great fan of his work.
kt

Judy Seigel wrote:
>
> On Thu, 21 Jul 2005, Matthew Miller wrote:
>
> > I find it rather amusing that on an alt. photo list that is populated
> > (mostly) with people who mix their own chemicals and coat their own paper,
> > that this is such a big topic. So kodak won't make paper. Big deal. One of
> > the reasons I started alt. processes was to lessen my dependency on big
> > business. <insert objectionable political statement here> :)
>
> I was thinking the same thing... which is in fact the meaning (or the main
> meaning) behind the term "Post-Factory Photography" -- in the sense of
> *after* the factory, as post-modernism means *after* modernism, not the
> photography of factories that make posts.
>
> Although an article in Sunday's [July 24] New York Times Arts & Leisure
> section about Chris Jordan's photographs of industrial detritus does bring
> other possibilities to mind. He photographs what the Times calls "Great
> Big Beautiful Piles of Junk." But they are, besides the abstract graphic
> power of the images, full of meaning as well... in that they "criticize
> the excesses of consumerism by capturing it in minute detail." (I'd
> contrast them to John Pfahl's photographs of dumps, which are not only IMO
> much weaker as images, but seem, at least to me, rather dilettantish, in
> that they lack strong meaning beyond the fact of "I'm so artistic I make
> art from a dump".)
>
> I thought Jordan's most stunning image (at least as reproduced in the
> paper) is what looks like a vast field, maybe an acre, of discarded cell
> phones, which he achieved by elaborate analog AND digital strategies,
> starting with an 8x10 format camera (which the article describes as if he
> were Merlin) and then noodling two negatives together digitally.
>
> We also read that "if all the cellphones thrown out annually were
> recycled, they would yield 202,000 ounces of gold (worth about $84.8
> million) and keep 65,000 tons of toxic materials -- battery components and
> elements like cadmium -- from landfills and incinerators."
>
> It's hard to say, or make that I wouldn't *venture* to say, whether this
> would be better managed under some other form of government than
> capitalism (what do you think, Susan?), though I certainly have the
> impression that socialist (or semi-socialist) governments, as in
> Scandinavia, manage their environment better. That may of course be simply
> because their countries are smaller and more homogeneous, hence more
> easily managed.
>
> My hunch, though, is that it's more the form of election than of the
> economy -- and I blame it all on television. Once it became necessary to
> buy television time to get elected, and since that is so expensive, and
> the corporations can make those large contributions as most private
> parties cannot, most of our legislators both red and blue are [euphemism]
> kept persons of corporations, as witness the fact that they have NOT
> increased fuel mileage requirements for autos, not even a teensy weensy
> bit this year, while they are, ye gods, tinkering with daylight saving
> hours on the theory (read "hope" or even "pretense") that they will thus
> save fossil fuel, lots of luck.)
>
> (That TV stations, or channels, or whatever you call them, get their
> license from "our" government, thus selling public air for private profit,
> is not this discussion, although it does tend to be overlooked, as is a
> basic human characteristic, called by old process Freudians "denial.")
>
> However, I don't mean to digress. My first point is that these
> photographs in the vile pinko lying NY Times ***liberal*** newspaper of
> record, look stunning. My second point is that, for all my many documented
> sins, and those yet to be discovered, let alone documented, I have never
> owned a cell phone, in fact still use the rotary phone nailed to my wall
> in 1957, making me feel, at last, very virtuous, in this respect at least.
> (Although if people didn't buy stuff, our economy would collapse, but I
> don't know what "ism" would cure that, short of back to the farm-ism.)
>
> My 3rd point is that I could well envision the photographs of scenes the
> article describes, but doesn't show, of junked cars, even junked SUVs I
> daresay -- presumably along the lines of the photographer's "Recycling
> Yard No 1, Seattle, 2003," a scene of junked posts (although junked
> *wooden* posts would be biodegradable, hence not a problem.)
>
> As for the vanishing Kodak paper, let's look on the bright side-- as
> someone pointed out, you can do emulsions, you can buy paper, it wouldn't
> be the end of the world. In fact the metaphor that comes to mind is the
> training wheels on the bicycle. They're a crutch, no? Maybe when you give
> them up and just ride around up & down on two wheels, the biking gets
> better? Or maybe by then digital printers will fully replace that pain in
> the buttsky silver gelatin paper? True, they're not there yet, but they
> have come a long way.
>
> Oh, and a note to Kate -- your comment about not having seen the "real
> thing" when you began gum printing made me think, what the hell is the
> "real thing" in gum? IME, gum styles tend to be so different that it's
> possible to possibly divine the printer from the print. You might do that
> with SG from the content, like, say, a Solgado or a Wegman, but not so
> easily I daresay from the print.
>
> OK, that probably is the bright side...
>
> cheers,
>
> Judy
Received on Sun Jul 24 23:26:50 2005

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