Monday, February 22, 2010

A Picture May No Longer Be Worth 1000 Words


Here’s a little video that was made around 1990. Thank you, seriously, thank you, for posting this, Adobe. The first segment is amazing.
Happy 20th, Photoshop.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 7:12 pm  

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Untitled (Man In Shirt [Pink] Examines Title Of Large Print Of Sheep [Pink] While Cow In Video Seemingly Looks On [Still From Video Documentation of Installation] Inset Upon Original JPG Taken By Early Generation 2MP Digital Camera When The Artist Was Not Classically Trained)


Piece created for Shut Up Already and is positively dripping with meaning and commentary about the art world. Maybe.

Everyone remember to check out #class if you can! It’s the only thing in the past couple years (besides my grandma being sick) that at all made me upset I don’t live in NYC anymore. If I wasn’t 1000 miles away and knee deep in you don wanna know, I’d be up there in a quick minute. I’d probably even pack my own chalk.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 2:27 am  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Roberta Smith Resonates


I thought this quote by Roberta Smith (introduced to me via Veronica Rafeal) related well to how I think of Gray Days.

“More profoundly and at times negatively, the way art is experienced has changed. Conceptual Art has encouraged the assumption that every object, every picture, even every abstract painting tells a story – that it carries within it some kind of narrative, meaning or “subtext.” Equally ingrained is the more limiting expectation that all this meaning is primarily intellectual and easily reduced to language, that art as an entity is completely explainable. We owe to conceptualism years of one-lined artworks in all media – the “I get it” school of esthetic experience. This condition has caused a permanent confusion of content with subject matter, to the continuing detriment of both content and form. Too often, art that lacks an explicit subject is thought to be without content and dismissed.”

Roberta Smith, The New York Times

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 5:52 am  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Student Email


A student named Katie emailed me asking about Bad News.

Hiya Ian, I am currently suddying A-level photography at college and my current project title is ‘emotion’. When looking for insperation for my work i came across you, after looking at your work i thought ‘Bad news’ related mostly to my project title. Altough i enjoyed looking through your photos i couldnt find any information on what inspires you etc. If you could tell me a little bit about your work and what inspired you i would be very gratefull.

Thankyou for your time,
Katie.

Hi Katie,

Thanks for emailing me – I’m always pleasantly surprised to hear from students looking at my work.

Bad News, though possibly overwhelming in its final form (as a surrounding installation, still not put up anywhere unfortunately), is really relatively simple in concept. They’re pictures of people who have been asked to remember the first time they were confronted with really bad news. I didn’t give them a definition of the term, so what this meant was up to them. I just let them sit in front of the lights for a few minutes and think and when it seemed like they had hit on it, I took the picture.

The images are basically a typology and I don’t find them particulary important as singular images, but that’s because I think of them as a whole group. I suppose if I first encountered one image instead of having taken them all together, I might feel differently.

So the images themselves have a simple premise, but I like to think that opens them up as meditation points, almost. One can look at them and try to share thought with the person in the picture. Or, you could look at them purely aesthetically (I tried to bring out overlooked detail through the process I was using, also fit with the rough emotion theme). The images are loaded enough with the two word “Bad News” title, I didn’t really feel a need to push much more text on them.

For the installation plan, I was looking at the work as an instrument for catharsis. The room would be dark, entirely covered with the images of faces, with soft audio recordings of people’s first negative memories playing behind the images. The entrance door (or possibly curtain) would be dark and not let in additional light, but the exit, on the other side, would be lit harshly or seem to go into a large white, quiet, space. Apply metaphors as needed.

Hope some of that helps. A lot of my work is very different and most projects don’t stem from the same inspiration. I honestly couldn’t say what made me feel like I needed to do a project on Bad News, but it just seemed like something everyone had as a shared experience.. something a little less hokey than “first crush” or something along those lines. I’m not a particularly melancholy person, haha.

The installation idea formulated as I was shooting and was wondering how to outwardly express my own inward vision of the faces (when I close my eyes and think about the project it’s sort of like a dark space with faces floating, so maybe my intention is to just bring you inside my brain.)

About my other work, my mother recently wrote something about Gray Days that you might find interesting, and some of my own writing can be found at Ahorn Magazine. Besides that, I write a lot at my blog and post many things that are very inspiring to me. I just made a post about Zoe Strauss, who is an amazing image maker.

-Ian

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 5:34 am  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Strauss Is On A Roll


Just wanted to point out that Zoe Strauss is gearing up for her I-95 exhibition again, and posting a lot of the work on her blog - we get to watch her work through her sequencing and juxtapositions, a real treat. I think that this year is the last year the show is going up and it represents 10 years of solid work.

A lot of the images will seem familiar if you own her book (and you should. I do.) but there are new ones and it’s worth seeing the old ones again. She often posts questions and listens to feedback from commenters. It’s rare to feel involved in someone (of her caliber, anyway, not some freshman art student)’s creative process like this and I’m honored to be part of the internet when I see her posting.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 2:50 pm  

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shut Up Already, Edward Winkleman Will Look At Your Art!


As posted in a blog post here, the illustrious gallery owner outlays his plans to look at your art.

The Rules (roughly):

* Artists will submit one digital image to “Shut up already. I’ll look at your art”
* Mr. Winkleman and guests will view the image for no less than 10 sec.
* Mr. Winkleman and guests will be monitored by a volunteer as they view the work to assure full compliance with the rules.
* Mr. Winkleman, his guests and the Monitor will sign a certificate of viewing stating the image has been viewed
* Mr. Winkleman and his guests will have no obligation to provide representation to any of the artists, make any comment about, or critique any of the images.
* Once an image is viewed by Mr. Winkleman and his guests the artist cannot complain that their work is not being considered by a professional gallery for one year from the date of viewing, Mr. Winkleman and his guests will be absolved of any further obligation to take complaints by artists that their work is not being considered by a professional gallery seriously for one year from the date of viewing,
* As Mr. Winkleman and his guests view the images, they will be available on the internet to be viewed.

There’s a satirical tone here, but all kidding aside, 10 seconds is a pretty good long look for your jpg. If it’s good, it will hook someone to look longer. If it’s not, then all the seconds in the world won’t matter. If nothing else, it’s worth thinking something interesting up to send in – you know he has to look at it for ten seconds. Poor bastard. Hopefully 4chan doesn’t find the submission form.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 10:03 am  

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Life Photo Archive – Really, Austria?


“Sailors aboard an Austrian warship wearing protective suits and gas masks during World War I.”

I’ve been spending a goodly amount of time in the Life Photo Archive, doing some research for some upcoming projects. It’s really more of an Image archive. Check out the amazing 18th century etchings, etc. Just search 1810s, 1830s and so on.

It’s pretty amazing, but sometimes I feel like history is just totally messing with me.

Edit: I can’t leave this one alone, I keep coming back to it. Beth and I have chatted about it a bit – at first glance she thought it was a photo, but at first glance I thought it was an illustration. There is shadow value and the detail on the hands looks photographic, plus the overexposed sky seems to interact with the objects in front of it as if a photograph. However, some of the “strokes(?)” on the clothing seem way too deliberate. It’s very hard to tell. It is credited on LIFE as a photograph (July 1, 1916, Mansell) but I saw a few illustrations in there credited similarly. My guess is that it’s either a heavily retouched or illustratively printed photograph or an illustration done from a photograph (based on the photo-like light). Of course, I’m not an expert on works of the era. Either way it’s a damn weird shot and if I saw it anywhere else on the internet except in the LIFE archive, I’d just be like nahhh man.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 6:35 pm  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat



‘Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat,’ Says General

I know, I know – I’m just posting a lot of stuff lately. I go through phases, I guess.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 3:28 pm  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Die Antwoord – “He Owns A PC Computer…. He Makes Next Level Beats”


This is an absolutely amazing little clip of Die Antwoord, directed by Sean Metelerkamp.

If you want to hear the entire song featured in this video, you can find it here. Warning, though, it’s in absolutely no way work safe and is some crazy 4chan style shit.

There’s a lot of weird and lovely life out there. I love human beings.

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 2:58 am  

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pretty Amazing Review of Avatar


This is a lot more fun to watch than reading my rant on the subject of the film (and hits all of the same topics) so here you go. Obviously, spoiler warning. But if you couldn’t figure out the plot from the trailer.. or even the poster.. well..

posted by Ian Aleksander Adams at 4:22 am