January 2015
2015, Jan 12
Loose ends

Last year was a crazy one—in a good sense, I think. I let a couple of things go by unmentioned, so I’ll collect them in this post.

  • I’ve uploaded the essay 1 that I wrote for the “Transmission” exhibition at 35 Minutes.
  • I contributed a text to Jason Fulford’s book The Photographer’s Playbook. 2 The book’s 307 contributions are ordered alphabetically, so I’m first up.
  • An interview I did with Atsushi Fujiwara appeared in the 10×10 Japanese Photobooks 3 book. Fujiwara articulated the “traditional” tradition of Japanese photography in a compelling way.
  • I also helped out Bryan Formhals and Stephen McLaren with their book Photographers’ Sketchbooks 4, which featured Naoya Hatakeyama, Daisuke Yokota and Wataru Yamamoto. I translated a couple of texts, including one by Hatakeyama which was typically brilliant. This is my favorite part:

    The English photographer Michael Kenna once said to me, ‘The camera is a pencil.’ Kenna was probably thinking of William Henry Fox Talbot’s book ‘The Pencil of Nature’ when he said this, but he continued: ‘A novelist uses a pencil to write a story. A painter uses it to make a sketch. An accountant uses it to calculate sums.’ I think he meant that there are many people in the world who are obsessed with cameras, but that the camera is nothing but a tool—the important thing is the actual result. When we line up the actual results produced by a pencil—‘story’, ‘sketch’, ‘calculation’, the degree to which these items differ, in other words their multiplicity, is stunning. If the camera is indeed a pencil-like tool, then we, like Kenna, should be able to see this multiplicity within photography.


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