Posts Tagged social media
On a day when The Observer’s Sean O’Hagan writes about what is, in his opinion, a revolution in photography in Britain’s galleries, we’re also treated to an article by Source Magazine called The Invisible Gallery, lamenting the chronic inability of photography galleries to develop an online presence of any standing.
Source rightly note that very little of Britain’s large photographic archive (newsletters, periodicals, exhibition outlines, etc.) has been digitized, nor do most of the galleries even have something as basic as a Wikipedia entry to their digital name.
That’s before we even consider matters like understanding social media well enough to be able to use it in a constructive way. Most galleries are little more than broadcasters here. But it isn’t just the galleries who still don’t seem to ‘get’ social media – agencies are equally poor, with tweets at the height of the Libyan Uprising from photojournalism agencies celebrating their ability to take fun photographs of Americana, being just one #epicfail I’ve seen lately. It’s a bit like sitting in a pub where your mate is proudly talking about his new baby, and responding with “I watched the football last night”.
Digital media is being hailed as the new frontier of photography, but I’ve seen little from the photography institutions (not just the galleries) to demonstrate an understanding of any of it beyond the ability to use Mail Chimp combined with the Tweetdeck auto-tweet function to
spam provide photography fans with exactly the same content by email and by social media.
So, we have a few new job positions specialising in photography (with an emphasis on collecting prints for their archives) at the big London institutions (no mention of any organisation outside of Zone 1 in O’Hagan’s piece…sorry Open Eye, sorry Side, sorry Stills, sorry Impressions, sorry Third Floor, etc), and no talk at all of any of the numerous photography festivals, let alone talk of grassroots developments and what they’re up to.
Still less any talk about how to navigate the digital world. This has been a popular topic at recent conferences, seminars, lectures, and festivals. But again, it mostly boils down to key organisation representatives sipping water and saying, “we don’t know how this will develop, and we don’t know how to make sense of it yet…but it’s really exciting!” Advice to photographers? Get involved in this new fangled way of doing things as much as you can! Just don’t expect us to have any clue what you’re doing, how to evaluate it, or even how to find it. We’re still wondering why Steve Jobs hasn’t put an “off” switch on our computers!
If there has indeed been a revolution in British photography at all, I rather suspect it is known more colloquially as “the spinning beachball of death” on a Mac computer.
I have to share this wonderful little site, which I came across (all thanks to the cool kids over at GOOD Design) today. It’s in its first stages, but expect it to grow rapidly – it offers the twin-wonders of reducing overheads to photographers while also making the world a better, greener place. Who could complain about that?
“The inspiration for the project came from the realization that our small agency alone amasses about 28 kilograms (60 pounds) of promotional post cards, posters, and booklets from illustrators and photographers every month,” says founder Lance Vining. “That got us thinking: If we take that 28 kilograms and multiply it by say 15 agencies, that’s about 410 kilograms of paper that’s just thrown away. What a waste.”
So, as a response, they created First-stop. If you’re a creative, you can sign up, and they will feature your portfolio on the site provided you pledge either to reduce your paper promos or that you don’t send any already.
The idea is that agencies and creatives can use First-stop to find work in paperless form, while also being able to opt-for working with other individuals who have pledged to make the world a less wasteful place.
I think it’s a cracking idea, and I’ve signed up already. :-)
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