News from the south: September 12th, 2014, marks the opening of an exhibition of photographs by Mobile, Alabama-based photographer Vincent Lawson
, at the Mobile Arts Council
. Add Vincent to the list of lovable artists I met in New Orleans last year; I wasn't able to review his portfolio but we connected regardless. Look Vincent in the eyes and you can sense he's going to be invested in producing photographs like this.
"It is my goal that this project will help those who have little or nothing, whose dreams have been shattered, who think that no one cares for them, who think that they don't matter. If this project can change one person's way of thinking it will be a success."
Sorry I can't make it - share with someone who you think can!
"These photographs also ask a question: if you see another human being in need, will you pass them by or help them? The two choices: Empathy / Apathy." - VL.
Bather. Downtown Miami, Florida, 1993. © Mary Lou UttermohlenMary Lou Uttermohlen
showed me her prints at the portfolio reviews held by PhotoNOLA
last year in her home town of New Orleans. She told me about the inception of her work with the homeless when in 1993 Miami began to address its growing problem, and how she continues to photograph homeless communities. Over in the UK recently, shops and blocks of flats began installing "anti-homeless spikes." Instead of attempting to address the root causes of homelessness, we continue to just keep moving people on, sweeping them under a concrete carpet.
"I began to document the shantytowns in Florida in the 1990's when most villages were made of plywood and I was shooting on B&W film. The camps were self-segregated along common interests that included children, transvestites, prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, illegal immigrants and mental health issues.
Over time my equipment has evolved and my style has shifted. In recent years the work is done in color with a digital camera and battery operated studio lights. The camps have also evolved and now include tent cities.
With funding I will be able to visit more unique shantytowns around the country including Portland, Oregon, where they have organized tent cities, and Pensacola, Florida, where the mayor tried to pass a law to ban people covering themselves with a blanket in public. I would like to visit as many different states and circumstances as my budget will allow so I can illustrate the spectrum of this national problem.
This twenty-one year long documentary is a voyage of watching homeless people organize themselves as local authorities work to make them disband. The images are not about homelessness in general, but specifically about homeless people setting up structured living solutions to solve the problems they face as a community. In spite of all the programs and services offered, the homeless population continues to grow and the epidemic expands. The mission of this work is to make the invisible population visible so their issues can be addressed."
Ian: 200+ lifestyle variables
London-based photographer Travis Hodges
does it again, creating a series of images based around a digital trend. This time he looks at self tracking. Text and images by Travis.
"'The Quantified Self
' is the process of self knowledge through self tracking. Once the preserve of researchers and technology junkies, self tracking is rapidly evolving into a mainstream trend as people are able to use smartphones and wearable sensors to record an expanding range of data and make use of its analysis. Many of the commonly tracked metrics relate to health and self improvement, but almost anything can be tracked; sleep, exercise, mood, weight, the list is almost endless as are the individual motivations for tracking. This project looks at the stories of the people who self track, the data they collect and their motivations for doing so."
Following are excerpts from their stories - to read more head over to Travis's website
. If you are in London, you can see the work at Photofusion
, now through middle of August, with an artists' talk on August 7th.Ian began tracking his health in 1974, recording exercise and weight. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2007 and given weeks to live. Ian now records over 200 areas of his daily life including liquid and food intake, alternative therapies, supplements, prescription drugs and biochemical measures. His spreadsheet now measures over 400 columns and 2,400 daily records.
designed and built an app called Happiness as a technological
alternative to chemical anti-depressants. "By staying generally
conscious of my mental state I'm able to spot patterns and make changes
before anything gets too overwhelming. Tracking my happiness has also
helped validate various life decisions that I might otherwise doubt...
It's been a while since the app has shown me a big red warning
necessitating a painful life decision."Adriana: EmotionAdriana
uses 'Emotion Sense,' an app developed at Cambridge University, to
monitor her mood and overall happiness. She inputs her mood on a grid;
the app can use the phone's data to measure environmental and social
influences such as how much you are using your phone and how active you
are, through location tracking. Adriana always thought of herself as
negative, but "it seems I am actually a lot happier and positive."
Owen: Mental performance
Owen, a qualified pharmacist, tracks aspects of his mental performance
and the effect of coffee on his short term memory, reaction time, and
processing capabilities. "When I first started, using a program called
Quantified Mind, I checked my mental performance when I had coffee
against when I didn't have it. The results showed significant
improvements in the way my mind functions, and so I've been having it
Suran: Body shape
Suran steps into a 3D body scanner once a month to map his body shape
and record measurements that would be unreliable if done by hand. "I got
interested in monitoring my body-shape after my uncle died of a heart
attack. One of the best predictors of heart disease is the size of your
belly, but getting consistent and accurate measurements by tape measure
Barbara: Happiness and well being
Barbara and her family use a self-designed app to track and influence
their happiness. By creating and sharing tasks based on 'eight areas of
life' members of the family can see what each other needs to feel happy
and therefore support each other in achieving their goals. One month
Barbara set 80 tasks, achieving 76 which completed 9 of the 10 self
defined stepping stones for her big picture of happiness and harmony.
All images © Travis Hodges
. More from this series over at his website. Think Barbara ever watches the world news?
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. The inimitable Steve Pyke
completed his series of WWI veterans' portraits in 1993, by which time of course many of their fellow vets had died. He photographed British, French, German and American veterans, usually in their homes in their respective countries.
"The war had always gripped me. As a child I met and spoke openly to the old timers who had fought, including my grandfather Arthur Pyke who served as a cabin boy at the naval battle of Jutland in 1916. I realised that by chance of birth had I been born in the late 19th century, then undoubtedly I would have served.
There was one veteran in Leicester where I grew up that I got to know well. Bert Mundy had served in Flanders, he lost an eye and was mustard gassed there. We used to play chess together and he would be continually dabbing his weeping eyes whilst lecturing me on various chess moves.
The series now rests in the permanent collection of The Imperial War Museum
in London. It's fitting to view these portraits again 20+ years after I made them, and on the 100th anniversary of the Great War."
Steve Pyke, MBE.
Emile Richard, Verdun, France
Humbert Monaco, Long Island, USA
Fritz Strubling, Rostock, Germany
Len Griffiths, London, UK
Joseph F. Billicki, Long Island, USA
Bruno Lange, Berlin, Germany
At school in England, we learned about the Great War by reading the poetry written by young men in the trenches.
"Attack" by Siegfried Sassoon.
At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun
In the wild purple of the glow'ring sun,
Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud
The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,
Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire.
The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsily bowed
With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear,
Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.
Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear,
They leave their trenches, going over the top,
While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists,
And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists,
Flounders in mud. O Jesus, make it stop!
made this engrossing video about George, a lively Londoner. Take a few minutes and experience someone else's tough life.
"A friend, a neighbour, a familiar face in the street. Georgetown is a view into the life of south London resident, George.
"During a period of my adolescence that saw playing football in the street as a daily ritual, George and myself often shared the same space. Frequently we would meet with a simple nod, more frequently a hello, and on occasion George would join in for a kick about.
"Georgetown is informed by six years of these impromptu and informal meetings in the street, usually the same one."
© Francisco Salgueiro
is a photographer and author based in Europe. This is an ongoing series of images made backstage at regional circuses all around Portugal. So far he's clocked 6 months and 8 circuses and a bunch of cool shots. Do check out his website
for some other interesting, behind-the-scenes work.
All images © Francisco Salgueiro
Here's a complete package masquerading as a thesis project, from SVA Digital Photo
grad Evelina Reinhart
. Evelina suffers from acid-reflux disease and found most of the recipes already out there were not to her taste. So, she made up her own, had the dishes cooked up, and photographed them all using only natural light. Smart! The book, The Joy of Eating
, is available for purchase so why not buy one for someone you know who has the same issues.
Four toppings pizza
Green tea ice cream. All images © Evelina Reinhart
Batman, from the Melting Ice Pops series © Michael Massaia
Remember that sinking feeling when your lolly falls to the ground in slow-motion? I guess someone dropped theirs in the gents', inspiring the wonderful machine that is Michael Massaia
to make this, his second summer series released so far this year. They are fantastic. Using a $40,000 Leica loaner, Michael Massaia's latest project entails placing ice pops on a piece of black Plexi, allowing them to melt in their own time, and photographing them using only long exposures.
Freight-hopping in the Appalachians © Adam Void
I happily scored an original piece of art by Adam Void
at Visual AIDS' Postcards from the Edge in NYC last year - it's a well-loved event, first come-first served, you choose from anonymous artworks, you pays a little money and then discover who the artist is. Adam reached out to me soon after and has kept me updated on his multi-media artistic wanderings.
In some of his Polaroid work he travels the States shooting with the Fuji Instax (which I adore), hopping trains or driving with his mates, shooting landscapes, graffiti and so on. Here are just a few selects from his growing body of work. According to his bio, he has a BA in Existential Philosophy which makes him a right geezer in my book (that's a good thing from a Brit). He describes his work as "transform(ing) the debris of contemporary society into works that address social & political issues of class, control, and community. He is dedicated to exploring the details of countercultures particular to his experience: DIY culture, graffiti, hard traveling, social activism, mysticism, and the concept of "the outsider.""
Mr. Void has an exhibition on through July 26th, 2014, at Castell
in Asheville, NC where you could see more. Or visit his website
I'm loving the idea of this limited edition boxed set of prints by friend-of-aCurator Brian David Stevens
, for only £100 (that's about $170 on today's crappy exchange rate. But still a billy bargain!)
"In the summer of 2004 photographer Stevens
rose early to capture the towering speaker rigs and sound systems of the Notting Hill Carnival before the crowds arrived." Read on...
"The sound systems, these towering monuments to volume that stay in place for three days, are portrayed starkly and simply in Stevens' photos, a far cry from the colourful, loud and crowded images that normally depict the carnival. Stevens says he wanted to shift the emphasis to the source of the music that was drawing people there in the first place, and yet was drowned out in the visual noise. "Normally you never see these streets empty, they're absolutely packed with people," he says. "I got down there very early as they were setting up and shot the huge, monolithic speakers just in the middle of the street, where they look fantastically beautiful - I think every street corner should have one on them."
(Independent publisher) Tartaruga
has produced a limited boxed set of screenprints, featuring six photographs from the series screenprinted as A2 monochrome prints on to high quality archival paper.
The six prints are produced in a limited run of just 30, and come housed inside a custom printed box.
A limited photo book / zine of the series is soon to be available from Café Royal Books
, and an exhibition of the series (screenprinted by Tartaruga) is on show at The Social
in London until 30 Sept 2014.