- For Teju Cole, photography ‘selects, out of the flow of time, a moment to be preserved’. But technology has led to a world where photography is ‘crowding in on ongoing experience, imposing closure on what should still be open.’ Mary Pappalardo visiting an art gallery finds that the artworks are lost to ‘the sea of screens surrounding me, doubling and redoubling the works themselves’. Rather than muse on the paintings, her mind dwells on ‘what their Instagram image was going to look like, what its caption would be, how many likes it would get.’
- ‘To collect photographs is to collect the world,’ wrote Susan Sontag. Vivian Maier, who died in 2009, had collected around 100,000 negatives, photographs taken during her life but never shared or published. The posthumous discovery revealed a remarkable image-hoard of twentieth century street life. A new biography aims to challenge our impression of Vivian Maier as ‘a mysterious, freakish figure’ – shifting focus from her ‘hoarding and possible paranoia,’ to her self-sufficiency and adventurous spirit. (She twice embarked solo on a subarctic train expedition to take photographs.)
- ‘So far, the brave new world of digital literature has been largely anti-climatic . . . Perhaps e-lit is already dead?’ wrote 3AM founder Andrew Gallix in 2008. In a recent article, James O’Sullivan argues developments in gaming and literature will produce valuable works of art in the form of ‘literary games’.
- ‘This all sounds terribly pretentious,’ worries poet Ocean Vuong in an interview with LitHub, ‘but I believe in it.’ Why are we so fearful of sounding pretentious? In an interview with VICE, Dan Fox argues that the insult undermines those that pose a threat: ‘People use it as a way of shutting down things they don’t understand, or which differ from their idea of what art culture, or other people “should” be’.
- The clocks went back in October, offering a few weeks of reprieve from the darkness. Now, in mid-November, natural light is dim memory. To mark the shift into suffocating gloom, we recommend Peter Gizzi’s Release the Darkness to New Lichen: ‘I saw the frill of light today / walking on the path’. If rather than moping, you’d like a pick-me-up, try Claire Vaye Watkins’s ‘I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness’ – ‘eros, anarchy and other dark sparkling energy’.
Images © Vaquero Cooper and Thomas Leuthard