November 30

a. The edges of a photograph give a false sense of completeness. It appears contained, manageable, whole, autonomous, but it is in fact the opposite. 

November 21

a. Luigi Ghirri — photographs of photographs, representations of representations.

b. I’m unsure what ‘sentimental geography is’ — a term Ghirri used to describe his work —but perhaps there is something to be said about the way in which some of the geographies he photographed were inscribed with visercal emotions. A toilet and an adjacent bidet surrounded by desert themed wallpaper seems a forlorn, kitsch attempt to satisfy something deeper than simply decoration. A symbolic landscape to desire as you sit on the toilet.  

c. The first three photographs in Walker Evans’ American Photographs establishes the idea that everything to come is an image rather than reality. He graciously sets up the book in this way so we are aware from the beginning.

November 19

a. Often a private Instagram account is not to ensure privacy. In fact, its purpose directly opposes the idea of privacy — it is a bid to entice. Unable to see the photographs beyond the notification — but able to see the tiny face and the numbers that so many strive for — you are coaxed into imagining what lies behind. What are all those followers looking at? If they are following this person, should I? A desire to see and to be accepted is kindled, stoked, inflamed, until it is too much to bear. A tap of the screen — requested. Not so private. One more follower.

November 13

a. The difficulty with writing is that it is never just about writing. To write about art, you must know something (although fortunately not everything) about art as well as writing. Unless you are writing about writing, like William Zinsser did with such grace, you must tackle two or more things at once, simultaneously, always. 

November 12

a. “ahh that’s right, yin and yang not yim and yam” - Ed Moses on John McLaughlin.


October 28

a. Photography fixes and fragments. It represents a certainty that shatters into ambiguity.

October 24

a. Grey in Lewis Baltz's Near Reno coalesces organic and artifical, levelling their disparate births. So much so that they become enmeshed almost beyond distinction — the shell of a blown out television appears no different than a rotting tree. Baltz's use of the word 'Element' to title the works further anchors the photographs in the primitive, the telluric. Everything here is the land.

October 21

a. Baudelaire was simply too early. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

b. Allan Sekula worked in a conflicted space, not a contradictory one. Addressing labour inequaltiy, globalisation and neoliberalism from within an industry that is often emblamatic of those ideas may seem antithetical, but Sekula knew the conditions of his own labour well. His work was a way to understand better, a prompt to know more, and not an attempt at activism, shouted through a megaphone behind thick, museum glass.  

September 30

a. Baltz was addicted to horizontals.

August 30

a. Who is in control? The person taking the photograph or the camera?

August 6

a. Badlands: trigger-happy Moonrise Kingdom. 

July 19

a. Gursky; complicit spectacle and excess.

June 28

a. It is only at the point of absolute openness that we are made deftly aware they are photographs.

June 11 

a. I like that Susan Sontag saw her writing as something different than herself. She knew the power and the privilege it was to rewrite thoughts a hundred times until they struck with her characteristic force.

May 17

a. Sameness points to difference.

May 14


a. Robert Adams’ work aimed to state the problems he saw in the landscape. What better way to do so than through the potent clarity found in his photographs.

b. “Life is ‘reassuring’ when it repeats itself, freed from the wild variations of local cultural difference.” - David Bates

I’ve never been able to articulate my anxiety towards holiday resorts until reading that sentence. Bates was talking about stock photography, an industry of omnipresent comfort, but the same ideas are found in holiday resorts.

Holiday resorts aren’t bad. On the contrary, they are built to ensure pleasure. Awake or dreaming, needs and desires are only a digit away. Familiarity and novelty are exquisitely balanced. Comfort can be found everywhere. Yet it is the surreal, heady proximity to comfort that gives it its sterile sheen. If you don’t enjoy the local cuisine you’ve come so far to taste, there is always an authentic wood-fired pizza behind you. The pleasing curves of the swimming pool mimic the lagoon only a mile away, but the pool guarantees an immaculate experience through chlorine and labour. A plethora of activities is compressed into walking distance as adventure is repackaged into convenience. And whilst the infinity pool overlooking the sea grants you the perspective of being at one with Amphitrite, there is no need to wash away the salt. 

April 28

a. Ed Ruscha finished the cover of Twentysix Gasoline Stations before a single photograph was made.

b. Joachim Brohm’s photograph made in Bochum in 1983 speaks of a landscape in all its complexities; social, technological, economical, environmental, political and topographical.

April 17

a. William Christenberry talked about his photographs with a rare tenderness. Teeming with warmth and humanity.

April 10

a. There’s a photograph in Teju Cole’s Blind Spot looking out of the rear passenger window of a taxi. Our gaze is led through the windows of the taxi in the next lane to meet the returning gaze of a taxi driver in the lane suceeding that one. It is a piercing, transient meeting.

Yet that moment is so powerful only partially because of the actual collision of awareness. What makes the exchange so potent are the four window frames – the four focal planes – that our vision has to reach through before settling on the taxi driver’s face, each one smaller than the last. Because of this contraction, we are made acutely aware of the fortuitous nature of this event. It is as if there is a hurdle track ahead of us, but one that is only aligned for an instant. Distance and serendipity realised in a few taxi windows.    


April 6

a. Stephen Shore. Holden Street, North Adams, Massachusetts, July 13, 1974. 1974. Dualities rendered in perfect clarity. The converging lines of muddied brick and shadow bookended by a landscape unsullied by modernity. Even the vertical achievements of commercialism appear meagre desires set against the boundless sky beyond. 

April 2

a. Takashi Homma’s Tokyo Suburbia is wrought with the uneasy banality of suburbia – one of manicured lawns, sterile facades and vacant dead ends.

April 1

a. “those goddamned stories with a beginning and an end.”

March 28

a. Murakami loves cigarettes. Writing about them so much must be like smoking by proxy for him.

March 27

a. Jason Fulford sounds like Edward Norton. A little anyway. Especially if close your eyes. I just listened to a talk of his and found myself thinking of one of Tyler Durden’s pensive, seductive monologues. Fulford and Durden both have the same measured theatrical tone. It’s as if it’s been practiced a thousand times. But has it been? I can’t quite tell.

b. Looking at Dear Bill Gates and thinking how perfectly precariousness and stability are balanced.