About this Blog

A place to remember and to share articles, videos, and information about art and culture. My primary audience is students of the arts, with the purpose of expanding the discussion and encouraging research.

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Monkey Business

If a monkey borrows your camera to make a selfie who owns the copyright?



When I lived in the metroplex my students used to break into the Baker Hotel all the time, it was like a rite of passage. This story is about getting busted. I love this line.

“It’s like a play-by-play brought to you by the suspect via Twitter,” Sullivan said.

Some of the pictures are really beautiful... why do artists love the beauty of destruction?

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/04/28/5774134/photographer-busted-in-the-baker.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy



Worldwide Pinhole Day Event

This Sunday, April 27, is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day! We are having a pinhole workshop at AC from 1-6. Come join us in some lo-tech fun. '-)

Amarillo College, Washington Campus, Parcells Hall, 3rd floor.

Free, Open to the public, we provide all the materials. Plan on staying at least 2-3 hours, to build, expose, and develop images.


Brianna Burnett

Photographic artist, Brianna M. Burnett, will speak on Thursday evening, April 3, at 7pm in the Oak Room, on the second floor of the College Union Building, located directly north of Lynn Library. She will speak about the dryplate tintype process she uses to make images and construct one-of-a-kind photographs currently on display in the Southern Light Gallery.

Thursday is also the last day of her exhibition, "Re-Told" in the Southern Light Gallery, first floor of Lynn Library, on the Washington Street Campus.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Artist Statement:

I use a dryplate tintype process to make images and construct one of a kind photographs using artifacts. I incorporate both digital manipulation, camera-less processes and historic photographic images to create photographic works. Although these are several different processes, each of the series has the continuity of story. The narrative is what holds me to making images. I delight in the visual reference of story or interpretation. These images are narratives from myth, folklore, history and memory and I am only continuing the tradition of telling and interpreting. These images are made for the act of re-telling. I interpret the stories and memories or adapt the narratives as an act of referencing time and collection. My photographs are a collection of moments remembered as the story unfolds.

They are always, simply stories re-told.


Student Cinemagraphs

A year ago the local PBS station interviewed my students about a virtual exhibition that we had on campus that used QR codes and was viewed exclusively on cell phones. The exhibition was their cinemagraph projects in Photo Digital Imaging II. I completely forgot about them shooting footage, but just now a student sent this link to me.


Panhandle PBS Artist Profile

The Panhandle PBS station just published an artist profile on me. Sweet. Read all about it - here.


The Flow State and other Traits of the Creative

This video is a fun primer on traits of the creative.









For more info, read this article on the 18 Things Highly Creative People Do. How many of these things come naturally to you? Moi? I've got it bad ;-)

Cell Phone Memories

Penelope Umbrico, Suns From Flickr (2006-2007)

It happened innocently enough, as I started to erase the white board, a student said, "wait." He then stood up, and quickly shot a picture on his cell phone of my notes about aperture and shutter. Then, another student, said, "me too." Nowadays, this is common practice in photography. I do it also, before I go to the grocery store I grab a picture of the list on the frig of things I need. I snap a passage in a book that I want to remember. But it got me thinking about this shift in the way that we think about making images and why we now make this type of photograph.

With film, there was a lag time from shooting, to developing, and then printing. There was also the expense. People tended to print and save only the best images, probably because there were also issues of storage, organizing, and the bulk of it all. It would be impractical to photograph lists, or notes. However, with the ability to digitally store images on cell phones, we are now capable of carrying thousands of images around with us. These pictures are instantly visible, and take no additional space. We can share them, reference them, and even modify them. When they are no longer useful, we delete them, and make room for more pictures.

As a result, people are documenting what they wear to meetings, when they look good, what they eat, and all sorts of trivial things. The reasons vary from the practical to the absurd. I cannot recall another documentary project that looked so closely at the minutiae of daily life, and it is worldwide.

Recently I have stumbled upon two articles related to this topic.  In the current New Yorker, the writer Casey N. Cep, discusses how her cell phone has replaced her notebook, and how she uses technology to capture ideas for stories. This paragraph really gets to the heart of how we are using photographs today:

Looking through my photo stream, there is a caption about Thomas Jefferson smuggling seeds from Italy, which I want to research; a picture of a tree I want to identify, which I need to send to my father; the nutritional label from a seasoning that I want to re-create; and a man with a jungle of electrical cords in the coffee shop, whose picture I took because I wanted to write something about how our wireless lives are actually full of wires. Photography has changed not only the way that I make notes but also the way that I write. Like an endless series of prompts, the photographs are a record of half-formed ideas to which I hope to return.

Casey links to another article entitled, Point and Shoot Memories, by Linda A Henkel, which looks at when and how using photographs can enhance our memories or hinder them. Interesting stuff.

I would not say this is a new genre of photography, we have cataloged all kinds of things since the inception of photography. But what we are doing with cell phones is unique, and will no doubt be the source of many dissertations.

In the Bidwell Collection, there is one piece in particular that is mining from this rich vein of images on the Internet. Penelope Umbrico is making large scale grids of similar images found on Flickr, the one above is of sunsets. Through the repetition of a similar image, she questions why we need to make any more photographs, when there are so many, so readily available. And yet, the next beautiful sunset will find many people lifting their cameras in salutation to the sun, and then instantly sharing to their favorite social networking site. Why do we do it? To remember.


To the Beat of my Own Drum

Really excellent PBS documentary on mentoring young artists, and the National YoungArts Foundation.



Photo and the First Amendment

We were just discussing this last night in class, and this morning I stumbled on to this timely video on your rights as a photographer, additional articles and information on PDN.