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A Trans-Atlantic Photo Exchange

A Trans-Atlantic Photo Exchange — Blogscroll from Georges Perec on Vimeo.

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Photobook Listmania

As the December-months of 2012 are drawing to a close, the annual obsessive listing of “best photobooks” has arrived. As always it’s accompanied by the rhetorical use of unbalanced comparatives. To put a substantive in plural after the adjective “best” sounds illogical to me. Why “best books” and not “better books”? Otherwise each best book should be the best in its own category with a list of better books (better than average, better than good, or better than bad).

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Prehistoric Photography

For a while now, I’ve been intrigued by the history of photography before photography. The official birthdate of 1839 always struck me as being artificial. The means to fixate images on photographic plates marks an end stage of sorts in a long (pre-)history of camera obscura uses, and the beginning of an era that will be defined by an ever increasing speed and volume of image distribution.

It is known that the ancient Chinese and Romans were aware of natural camera obscura phenomena. But as of 2005, a very interesting thesis proposes that prehistoric peoples might have known it too, and that their cave and stone drawings of animals might have been inspired, if not guided, by what multi-media artist Matt Gatton describes as “accidental formation of cameras obscuras” in prehistoric tent dwellings. Gatton’s researches into possible prehistoric camera obscura uses is nothing less than imaginative and fascinating.

To see and learn more, visit Matt Gatton’s Paleo-Camera web site.

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