Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long. -- Walker Evans

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2012

CPC 2011 winner Yaakov Israel
From Joerg Colberg, Conscientious: I’m excited to announce the Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2012, the fourth of its kind. As before, the winner(s) will have their work featured here on this website, in the form of an extended conversation/interview. Two guest judges, Robert Lyons (director of the Hartford Art School Limited-Residency Photography MFA Program) and Michel Mallard (one of the masterminds behind the International Photography Festival in Hy√®res), are joining me to pick the winner(s) - and there’s a twist. Find all the details below. I will introduce Robert and Michel in more detail in a separate post.

The Conscientious Portfolio Competition (CPC) is free to enter. It’s no pay-to-play scheme. There are no costs involved for you other than the time it takes to decide about and send in your work.

CPC is aimed at emerging photographers. The term “emerging” is not extremely well defined. What it means is that photographers not represented by a gallery will get preferential treatment over those that already are (but of course, the quality of the work also plays an important role). ... The deadline is 31 October 2012, 11:59pm ET. No exceptions. [Read more...]

Monday, September 3, 2012

Brian Ulrich: Copia

Granger, IN, 2003 © Brian Ulrich
From Brian Ulrich's Website: Over the past 10 years I have been engaged with a long-term photographic examination of the peculiarities and complexities of the consumer-dominated culture in which we live. This project titled Copia, explores not only the everyday activities of shopping, but the economic, cultural, social, and political implications of commercialism and the roles we play in self-destruction, over-consumption, and as targets of marketing and advertising. 

Initially this project began as a response to the heated environment of 2001. The communal sense of grieving, healing and solidarity that broke down social walls as our nation grappled to make some sense of the tragedy of September 11th was quickly outpaced as the government encouraged citizens to take to the malls to boost the U.S. economy thereby equating consumerism with patriotism.
[Read more...] [View Copia]

Untitled, 2005 © Brian Ulrich
From Lost in E Minor interview, Sept 10, 2008: It does seem the only thing that will change Americans habits is circumstance. You can tell people over and over that driving a huge car is harmful and wasteful and they may even agree but most will only drive less if they can’t afford pay for gas. There may be less people out shopping these days but sadly no one is having the discussion over whether we do in fact need some of these things or what is the economic, and political fallout from building a society that is only as prosperous as it has money to buy things that are disposable and imported.

Belz Factory Outlet Mall, 2009 © Brian Ulrich
My most recent project from this year has been exploring these issues moreso in terms of retail space. The stores themselves seem the real indicator that Late Capitalism is failing. The economic model of basing a nation's well being on the GDP, Dow or profits of the smallest percentage of our country is one I believe terribly misguided. The abuse of that system leaves communities in neglect, unemployment rates rising and skyrocketing trade deficit. [Read more...]

Brian Ulrich also contributed to a discussion of EF Schumacher's book of essays, small is beautiful, for The Guardian's The Big Ideas podcast and gives an introduction to his work on Vimeo: