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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No Princesses

I get kind of frustrated sometimes with how little progress the women's movement has made. I know, I know, we've come a long ways, but sometimes it seems that for every step forward, there are two steps back. For example all the Disney movies about princesses, and the fact that most little girls that I know, when asked, say they want to be a princess when they grow up. i.e. they want a rich man, born of royality, to take care of them. This happened once in the last century - Grace Kelly. Talk about a long shot.

So I love this project by Austin photographer, Jaime Moore. Instead of the standard Princess in a Box party, for Emma's 5th birthday, Ms. Moore chose to dress up her daughter as influential women from history. This is such a fantastic idea, and has the added bonus of built-in dreams that are attainable. Love it.

This image is an anomaly in the set (since there has yet to be a female president), the other images are mimicking actual photos. Go check out the rest of them - they are really wonderful.

And two other articles of interest on the topic of modern feminists.  

Feminism has Come a Long Way - or Has It, by Ruth Rosen (an overview of the last 40+ years of the Women's Movement).

And this amazing rant: Why Society Still Needs Feminism, by Caitlin O’Donnell, that opens with - Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.

There is still much work to do, and yet most women nowadays do not identify themselves as feminist and actually act like it is a bad word. Of course, they all want equal pay for equal work... like it will magically happen some day. In 1970, a woman earned on average 59% of a man's wage for the same job. Today we are at 77%, with that kind of progress we should reach parity in 100 or so years. And this is just one issue, there are so many many more.

Photo Credits: Jaime Moore



Lenticular Photography and Politics

What a fantastic use of lenticular photo technology.


Art Works

This is an inspiring story of how a school in Massachusetts changed from being known as the Drop-out Factory, where student's feared walking down the hall, and among the worst in student performance in the state, to one with the fastest growth in student improvement. Their methods were simple and yet, courageous; eliminate all funding for security and reallocate it for the arts. I have always felt that teaching the arts is crucial to developing young minds in every field, so for me, this story is affirming.


Worldwide Pinhole Day!

This post is just a scatter shot of Amarillo pinhole news:

Worldwide Pinhole Day is the Sunday! Yeah. I love this day. We will be doing a workshop at AC from 1-6, free and open to the public. This is always fun. So come join us.

Mark Penland has a pinhole photography show up in the Southern Light Gallery, AC, Lynn Library.

Jacob Breeden did an awesome job on Channel 4 talking about pinhole photography and showing off some of my collection of weird cameras. Check it out.

More info is available on the AC Website.

Photo Credit: Mark Penland


Pros and Cons of a Photo Degree

The title of the article, Do I need a Photo Degree?, poses an interesting question, and one that as an educator I have thought about quite often. In the end the article comes down on the side of yes, and the reasons why are worth the read. I will highlight one pro, and one con, as a teaser. Personally, I think it is important to seek a degree, and my reasons align fairly well with the pros in the article.

Pro #6 The ability to problem solve as technologies continue to evolve. “We are in a rapidly changing technological environment and in that kind of environment, you have to teach people to be creative problem solvers just as you teach students within their own work to discern what is good and bad in you’re (sic) their work,” said Strembicki.

Con #2 Photo editors at magazines don’t care about your degree or where you went to school. They care about your portfolio and if your images will solve their needs and work in their context of their project.

Other pros were the value of critique, expermenting with a wide variety of equipment, and establishing a network of professionals, all of which would help with getting the attention of Photo Editors at magazines.

I want to add something that Tommy Moore, CEO and founder, of International Music Co. told me years ago when I started college. "I don't care what someone gets a degree in, as long as they have one." When I asked why, he said. "Because I know they can stay on task, finish what they start, and please a wide variety of people with their work. From there, I can teach them the job." Not to mention in today's world, not having a college degree is the equivalent of being a high school dropout just a few decades ago. Look at the statistics on wages for high school graduates vs college graduates for more confirmation that a degree is worth it.

These are challenging times and we are still in a recession. Make sure to get the right credentials, and push hard to ensure the price of an education was worth it. Be the best.


City Walls on Channel 4

Okay I just found this plug for the exhibition at Process Art House by Jacob Breeden on Channel 4 - sweet ;-) No embedded code, so you have to click through - Thanks Jacob!


Amazing Early Stop Motion Film


Wladislaw Starewicz's early stop-motion animation, The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912), is absolutely amazing. The article in Slate says that he built the insect puppets by using actual insects, wire, and wax. His 1912 film reminds me of silent movies, and he employees many of the same devices used in early films with people. The film immediately made me think of Brothers Quay and Tim Burton, and both were influenced by his filmmaking.

I love this passage from the article:

Starewicz uses loving satire of early film conventions—the spouses’ slapstick fighting, the tryst filmed through a keyhole—for comic effect. His lighting creates a whole range of effects, from romance and suspense to drama. But it is the bugs’ remarkably human gestures that make his films so memorable. The Zhukovs perfectly capture bourgeois domesticity, the dragonfly moves with a siren’s lithe sinuousness, and the artist personifies a bohemian dandy in an extravagantly feathered hat.



City Walls Exhibition at Process Art House


I am proud to announce the upcoming exhibition of my new work, opening this Friday night in Amarillo!

The project City Walls consists of macro photographs shot in 28 different cities across the US. As a photographer, I am obsessed with searching for fragments of concert flyers, political commentary, and other advertisements glued to walls and telephone poles, and how it starts to get layered and eventually time erodes it all.

Find out more in this fabulous article by Chip Chandler.

This is the first exhibition for many of these images, and I was still shooting in March for the show. Come help me celebrate.

Process Art House
700 S Van Buren St
Reception: Friday, April 12 from 7-11pm
Show runs through May 7

UPDATE Globe News photographs of the opening night by Bill Stewart


Student Blogging

A student post from the Discussion Boards this week in History of Photography. I love teaching!

I had heard the name Hans Bellmer in passing. When he was mentioned during the lecture it pinged my memory but I couldn't bring forth where I had seen it before. While Googling various topics tonight, I decided to look him up and see why he seemed so familiar and almost fell out of my chair. You see, I collect dolls- specifically ball jointed dolls - for photography purposes. In fact, ball jointed dolls are what first got me interested in photography; I bought my first digital camera on the same day that my first doll arrived in the mail because one of the main ways people participate in it is by taking pictures of them. Hans Bellmer is credited as one of the forerunners of the modern BJD hobby, he made his own ball jointed dolls and photographed them in his surreal images. I had thought that strange bright 4 legged female form in the image shown during lecture looked like it had joints like one of my dolls, but had assumed at the time that was just a side effect of compositing or whatever he had done to create the image- I had no idea he made it himself. Wow. Cool thing- there are some major esthetic differences between French dollmakers and ones from other countries like Japan and Korea, now I can see from looking at Bellmer's work that the French artists are being heavily influenced by him in the construction of their dolls.

Here's a link showing some of Bellmer's doll photography.

Link to Bellmer's Wiki page, showing a drawing he made of a doll. I instantly recognized it as a ball jointed doll.

Link to BJD Collectasy article about Nefer Kane's dolls, which strongly remind me of Bellmer's Scroll to the bottom to see the images.

There's also a wikipedia article about modern BJD but I'm not linking it here. Even though it's pretty much the only easily reached page that describes the dolls to the uninitiated, it's poorly written and out of date. you can go look it up yourself if curious.


Moving Still

I'm having fun exploring how to create these odd new moving/still images. Such fun. I've even created on new category on my Links page to share sites by other people.