Monday, October 31, 2011

Anonymous Computer Hacker & Ninja, 2011

Back from all of our ACP/Emory events of the week in Atlanta on Saturday night. As we rode the BART train home from the airport we realized that Halloween was waiting for us upon our return.

More on ATL later this week, but needed to share the splendor and curiosity of these wonderful costumes our kids dreamed up: Wilson is a vicious Ninja, and Eli is a member of Anonymous, the computer hacking entity / civil dis-obedience entity that took over SF a few months back.

Any questions?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

There Was A Moment

I'm reading a book about songwriter Warren Zevon. At a challenging point in his life, he joked "My career has all the promise of a Civil War leg wound." I loved that phrase with all of it's honesty and irony. With photography, as everyone knows, there are times when really no one wants to hear about matter what you do, you are invisible. And there are other times when you are a magnet. The key to survival is not to invest too much brain space / heart space in the highs or in the lows.

Here I am in a stylized black and white room, the penthouse bar of a SF ad agency. The namesake of the company comes up to me, he is wearing a lucha libre mask. He greets me as if he knows me, explaining to me that he owns a copy of my first book, his voice semi muffled by the mask. I'm stunned and excited. The book he is referencing sold terribly...I thought it was long forgotten. I'm embarrased and flattered by this mix of art and commerce. It leaves me feeling very good.

Someone catches my attention and asks me what I'm working on. I immediately cringe. I'm working on nothing really...I hate when people ask me that...I'm always so dead, but catch myself and realize the truth, for this moment, and speak it. The words surprise me as they come out of my mouth : LA to photograph Frank Gehry on Monday, then grabbing my son and flying to Atlanta for our opening and lecture for the book we did together. The project is also in National Geographic...I just picked it up at the supermarket, want to see it...?

I'm shocked at how together this all if I actually have a plan. But everyone will have a moment...even for 30 seconds...where they seem to have become everything they always felt they were meant to become. I had that moment there...I think it lasted 20 seconds really. I sounded like a player! Art and commerce, the elusive mix we all hunger's all working there for a moment!

And I do appreciate it, and am so thankful for it, cuz those seconds tick away. But there, above, is a copy of this month's National Geographic, laying on the supermarket parkinglot.

This week at Emory University in Atlanta:

A Conversation with Timothy Archibald
Thursday, October 27th at 6:00pm / Center for Ethics Commons, Room 102
Moderated by Dr. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, with introductory remarks by Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, Director of Center for Ethics and Dr. Ami Klin, Director of Marcus Autism Center.

Timothy Archibald / ECHOLILIA
Friday, October 28th at 7:00pm / Emory University School of Medicine, Room 110
Exhibit Opening, Artist Talk, and Reception

Read more about the event HERE.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jonathan Saunders by Alison McCreary

These 7 Days, These 7 Nights, In This Order Of Things from Jonathan Saunders on Vimeo.

I was in NYC for a very simple photography story I was sent there to work on. Sitting in a booth at the Howard Johnson's in Times Square, I stand to shake hands with Jonathan Saunders, meeting him for the first time. The evening ends at The Carousel Club, and I then walk back to my hotel when that place closes.  I still have some money left...I'm going to stay out a while, he says as we say goodbye.

Jonathan moves to Texas and I try to interview him for my blog. The results are unpublish-able. Too personal, too complex, nothing that really seemed to fit into some idea I had of getting into his head about the move. Too many thoughts and ideas and I wanted like...the elevator pitch, the sound bite.

Allison McCreary reaches out to Jonathan for Photographers On Photography and really does what I could not: gets into his head and heart and deep into the creative process. I think it took them a year.

A year well spent. Read it all...every last word... HERE.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

National Geographic / November 2011

Sarah Leen, Senior Photography Editor at National Geographic approached me about doing a story on the feelings and ideas behind ECHOLILIA earlier last year. I really never thought it would see the light of day...I couldn't envision this kind of curious personal story about my life and my son, all shot in our home, to fit in with the global vision of National Geographic. In April I got a chance to visit Sarah and see everything she was up to at the magazine: great stories with a contemporary sensibility, interesting features by unexpected photographers, humor and irony and all of these curve balls thrown in amidst all that is classically National Geographic. I left there inspired by what photography in the mass media could really be.

So happy to have ECHOLILIA celebrated so elegantly in the pages of the November issue of the magazine. I haven't got my hands on it yet, but saw a sneak peek of the production online last night. You all can see it HERE.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It Is So October

It is so so October.
The leaves are decomposing in the backyard and we smell them.
The moon is giant. The sun is low.
We watched a deer walk down the center of the street yesterday.
A Dollar Store Rat?
We found this giant spider at night.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photographer Slugging Nazi With Camera

Was enjoying Tony's blog DROOL last night and could not resist blantantly ripping off, sharing the wonder of these photo literate comics created between July 1944 and 1946. The goal was to capitalize on kids interest in the growing hobby of photography, published by The U.S. Camera Publishing Company.

Any kid would love to see a girl braining a Nazi with an SLR, but I don't think even the most intense photo nerd would savor a comic version of the life of Matthew Brady or William Fox Talbot? Gimme the Riddler or something....geez....but there it is, part of history.
See the rest of this collection HERE.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What Is Going On In Atlanta?

So...what exactly are we doing in Atlanta? Isn't it a big Atlanta Celebrates Photography month? Is it true you are being tried for art crimes or some ethical violation? Well...yes and is the deal:

Brian McGrath Davis, a grad student at Emory University approached me in the late spring about putting together a series of events at Emory based around my book/project ECHOLILIA/Sometimes I wonder, with both Eli and I in attendance.

Over the course of the summer we put together an expanded ECHOLILIA installation and a series of talks co-sponsored by ACP, Emory School of Medicine, and the Emory Center for Ethics. We are doing a bunch of stuff with various departments, but the two events open to the public are as follows:

A Conversation with Timothy Archibald
Thursday, October 27th at 6:00pm / Center for Ethics Commons, Room 102
Moderated by Dr. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, with introductory remarks by Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, Director of Center for Ethics and Dr. Ami Klin, Director of Marcus Autism Center.

Timothy Archibald / ECHOLILIA
Friday, October 28th at 7:00pm / Emory University School of Medicine, Room 110
Exhibit Opening, Artist Talk, and Reception

Read more about the event HERE.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Portfolio and This Is The What

Tidepool is hitting the road later this month. Always a good time to purge stuff and add stuff to the dinosaur that is the printed portfolio. A dinosaur in all places except the rep road show, really.

A few months back Kate Osba interviewed me on her blog This Is The What. The interview covered a bunch of stuff that kind of took me of guard, and once it was published it had me spouting out about how we were trying to make the portfolio more "bloglike". I guess I need to follow thru, you know? 

Dig into This Is The What. Read my piece, but read the rest of it too. Big things may be on the horizon for TITW...just trying to get y'all ready. See TITW HERE.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tidepool's Embrace Essay

After R.M. 1989

Tidepool Reps asked all of their photographers to introspect a bit and try to find something, from way back, that connected their early way of working to what they are up to now. The Tidepool blog has been featuring these over past month, starting with a great essay by photographer Bill Cash.  Mine is out today, and copied here as well. See it all on the Tidepool Blog HERE.


When I went to college, I somehow convinced my parents to allow me to be an art major. I never liked art classes in high school….I never really liked art at all. I had a long relationship with photography and my camera, but art was kind of a mystery. The art department at Penn State had no interest in commercial concerns…it was all about teaching the students expression, teaching the the history of art, the history of photography, and giving the students an awareness of the depth of their medium. No internships, nothing commercial was ever brought up. It was all about keeping expression pure, and learning how to tap into where that all came from.

At the same time I started working at the school newspaper. That group of people laughed at the art department…they couldn’t understand the esoteric concerns of that little subculture. They were all about communicating, the craft of photojournalism, and all the students had jobs at big papers lined up for their summer vacation. These folks were into the functional form of art…as functional as it ever really could be.

I was giving a talk to a bunch of students last month and they asked me about my education. I told them about the two sides of my backround, and confessed to them that I really didn’t think my formal education in photography amounted to much….I felt I learned more on the job than any where else. One of the students pointed out that the model I explained to them, this idea of having one foot in something esoteric and dada-ist, and the other foot in a world very funtional and logical, seemed to be a model I have followed throughout my career…even to this day! Looking at the patterns of my career, that observation really has held true: personal projects such as “Sex Machines” and “Echolilia” have been nurtured and blossomed with no commercial concerns whatsoever, while my efforts for hammering out a career with commercial photography were being nurtured with a similar amount of dedication and attention…all going on at the same time.

The happy news here is that the dynamic has shifted…the commercial clients don’t laugh at the art personal projects, they actually have started to embrace them.

Tethered, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things To Do In Denver When...

I called up my friend LeRoy on the phone
I said, Buddy, I'm afraid to be alone
'Cause I got some weird ideas in my head
About things to do in Denver when you're dead

LeRoy says there's something you should know
Not everybody has a place to go
And home is just a place to hang your head
And dream of things to do in Denver when you're dead

-Warren Zevon 1991

Picture Society's Inagural Show 2011 goes off tommorrow night in Denver, curated by Sarah Lavigne and Julia Vandenoever, two great photo editors that I've had the good fortune to collaborate with. The show is also graced by the genius that is :

Annie Marie Musselman
Michael Lewis
Sara Forrest
Noelle Swan Gilbert
Susana Raab
Matt Slaby

Raab is a bff ( still...i think...we haven't spoken in a while?) and Lewis is a spirtual brother ( i hope...i thought he was at least..?). Everyone else? Well they are great artists whose work speaks for itself...and I'm priviledged to discover their work. Tommorrow night it goes off, with prints by Dave Woody.
Enjoy a Michael Lewis self portrait below.
Read more about Picture Society HERE.