Archive for the 'photography' Category

The decorated can

April 11, 2008

Three different representational strategies, from a common Dutch practice. Images from Almere, The Netherlands.

[pix by imagineering]

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Marshmallow Cosmos

February 4, 2008

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Marshmallow Cosmos is a replica freeway column mass-produced as a breakfast cereal. A series of high resolution photographs of supporting columns from underneath the I-280 freeway in San Francisco were offset printed, using the same process as standard cereal packaging.

The work is a re-branding of generic breakfast cereals. Types and flavors of enclosed cereal vary widely and the variety of cereal in each box is unmarked. (Yes, there is really a bag of cereal in there, and no, we can’t remember what kind. You can pick it up and give it a shake.)

Our attention is drawn to the blurring of word and image in the layered buildup of graffiti. On a cereal box we read for brands and logos, but in this “freeway” version we find instead a networked sprawl of animated text.

Marshmallow Cosmos documents the supporting columns of the I-280 freeway in San Francisco, California, and all graffiti and painting was done by artists who frequent that site. 10% of the sale price of each box is donated to SF Connect, a local charity. The work is printed in a limited edition of 1,000 and each box is individually signed, numbered and sealed.

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For more information please see my website www.kposehn.com. To purchase or inquire about the work, feel free to email me at kposehn at gmail dot com.

[pix by cindy and imagineering]

Fear and laughing

January 31, 2008

Below is a collection of one-liner visual jokes from a popular website, though I’ve selected only the images with architecture. (Whether or to what extent they’re photoshopped is beside the point here, and their origin is totally unknown – I’m just interested that they’re being propagated.)

In an unrelated brain drift the other day I was wondering about humor in architecture, i.e. uh, where and what is it? I kind of like these images for their blatant contradiction and/or absurdity, which is maybe a sort of taboo in buildings.

The cliché of the door leading to nowhere at the second story is a pretty basic example. The gag is the danger, the implied image of the door opening. When I think of architecture it is almost always something I implicitly trust: as a provider of basic safety it manages fear. Including a fear of the building itself. Maybe humor in architecture has a different potential for mediation.

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[pix from a post on sneezl]

“Non-amateur surveillance”

December 16, 2007

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[pix by imagineering]

The more it tells you, the less you know

September 21, 2007

You may be wondering, like me, what is this odd little niche blog? Or more specifically, what niche is this?

Yes, there’s method here. Though half the fun (uh, for me at least) is figuring that out.

I’m interested in images: what constructs them, ways to think about them, how we encounter, manipulate and are manipulated by them. This blog is a porch and I’m swatting flies – noticing images, collecting glances and not-quite-so-random thoughts. The blog roll at present ranges mainly between art, architecture and planning, with a helping of cultural theory, pop culture and gaming.

Our image-world, what we see and the forms of perception at our disposal, is so massively influenced by marketing media. I got scandalous looks at my viva from a comment in my thesis that I’d rather look at ads than most fine art photography – ads being more sophisticated and more compelling. Then there’s things like this:

Every year a local farmer piles hay bales and paints them to look like a big ol’ John Deere tractor. It sits at the edge of the field advertising their fruit stand to the interstate freeway, a painted folk marketing sculpture.

Photo by imagineering
Quote from photographer Diane Arbus: “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.”

Stopped at two

September 20, 2007

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I fired off two shots at the Gordon Matta-Clark retrospective before getting the threatening cease-and-desist finger from the security staff. Kind of odd to see his practice enshrined this way. The museum as embalmer. His photographic exploits were way more lush than I remembered. There he is below, in a self-portrait performance that combined “recycling and body art,” and inspired that Lenny Kravitz opulent-dreads phase. His minimalist sensibility had a pop.

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Top two images by imagineering
Bottom image from here

Porthole decor

September 18, 2007

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Ok, I took a little break from the blog there. It was nice. But it is much nicer to be back.

Visual meteorology

May 20, 2007

I was talking with my fellow artist-in-residence Matt McCormick about our strategies of preparation. Basically before we’d each come out here we’d been noodling the interwebs furiously for images of places and subjects that interested us. Matt had been into Flickr pools, I was heavy on Google image searches.  Of course we knew well enough that weird difference between the pictures and the experience of the place. Matt compared it to meteorology: you gather as much data as possible, but no matter how comprehensive or detailed that material is you still have to sort of squint, guess and wishfully forecast as to what the place actually looks like.

I covered my wall with downloaded images – tourist pictures by all kinds of internut folk – of a place I’d wanted to visit. I lived with them intimately for a couple weeks like that. When I came back from my visit to this site, it was the weirdest thing to see those pictures. Returning, having finally seen and studied the place myself in person, suddenly the pictures were totally unfamiliar; alien, as if I’d never seen them before and I was stitching together their space and meaning for the first time as the new memory of the place imposed itself, a total reorientation to images I thought I knew.

Cindy Sherman vs. T-Shirt Ninjas

May 4, 2007

I love this post by Tom Moody: he compares Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills with web cam shots of T-Shirt Ninjas. That’s 1979 vs 2002. Well played, Mr. Moody, this is a great pairing. I just realized that I actually spent more time looking at the ninjas.

There is a free-form use of text in the ninja pix that is almost like folk art. Even the most flippant text in contemporary art feels heavy in comparison, loaded with significance.

The ninjas are borrowing from print and television marketing models, which almost always have text together with imagery. The ninjas naturally include their own strap lines and slogans. Their pictures are participatory advertisements, not film stills. Maybe this subtly suggests a blurring: to communicate is now to publicize.

p.s. See Tom’s reply to the above post here. I’m still thinking, expect more smack soon.

Paris hilton is here to teach us

April 8, 2007

“What is important to grasp here is the strangely naive and ultimately perplexing point that appearance is power and that this is a function of the fact that appearance itself can acquire density and substance….”

“The fetish power of imagery in shrines and magic [and marketing?] is merely a heightened and prolonged instance of this tangibility of appearance…. Epistemologies of science bound to the notion that truth always lies behind (mere) appearance sadly miss this otherwise obvious point. Daily life, however, proceeds otherwise.”

The smashing quotes above are from Michael Taussig’s Mimesis and Alterity, emphasis and comment in brackets my addition.

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Above, Paris Hilton with Paris Hilton lookalikes. Which/what is real?

[Images from here, here, here and here.]

3d rocks

January 30, 2007

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Top image, from 1867. Bottom, present. Both are of the Mushroom Rock, Kansas. The Kansas Geological Society has a huge archive of then-and-now shots, above images were found here.

Floatzilla

January 26, 2007

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Photos by G.Whaley & Ed Lofquist (top), and Brad Stevens (bottom). Originals here and here.

One picture is not enough

January 22, 2007

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Tourist carrots from Turkey, image from here.

Entrepreneurial spirit

January 12, 2007

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Fromthearchives: Car Porn

December 18, 2006

Earlier this year designer Bernadette Deddens created the Car Cover Car Lover, and she asked me to photograph the project. The car cover is specially designed for a classic Porchse 911T, and fits like lingerie. It’s removal, piece by piece via the seductive straps and fittings, is a striptease. For the photo shoot we enlisted the acting skills of the superb Anthony Styles. The pictures were published in the October 2006 issue of Intersection magazine.

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