Reading Shortlist 12.4.12

© Charles W. Cushman, Albion, Ill., April 1941. From NPR Picture Show, Lost and Found: Discover a
Black and White Era in Full-Color

The Reading Shortlist is an occasional post with an eclectic listing of recommended readings and links. A recommendation does not necessarily suggest an agreement with the contents of the post. For previous shortlists, please visit the site links page.

On the shortlist:

Evan Spencer Brace, ALEC SOTH: An American Photographer. A short video with Soth on his process, the meaning of a portrait, and inspiration.

© Evan Spencer Brace, still from ALEC SOTH: An American Photographer

Ryan Linkof, Unframed, The Controversial Act of Taking Pictures of Children. This essay accompanied the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's show Young. It explores the cultural tensions around photographs of children, and exposes the attacks for what they are: a misunderstood conflation of sexuality and nudity, a double-standard for the role of images of children inside and outside of museums, and a potentially dangerous attempt to culturally promote and highlight the "purity" and "untouched innocence" of children by repressing images of them. The essay ultimately asks what - if anything - is wrong with viewing children as the objects of visual interest and visual pleasure?

Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian, Photography: an ever-evolving art form. O'Hagan manages a nod to a broad cross-section of pressing issues in the medium today in one tangled article that serves as a sort of "State of the Union" of photography.

Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian, William Klein: 'I was an outsider, following my instincts.' An engaging interview with Klein about his career that provides a good sense of his iconoclastic character.

Claire O'Neill, NPR Picture Show, Lost and Found: Discover a Black and White Era in Full-Color. Multi-media piece on the Charles W. Cushman Photographic Collection at Indiana University. Cushman was a talented amateur photographer working with color starting in the 1930s whose images were saved from the trash by a researcher at Indiana. Some of the images are fantastic.

© Jonathan Torgovnik, Clare and her daughter Elisabeth

Elīna Ruka, FK, Interview with Jonathan Torgovnik. Conversation on Intended Consequences and Torgovnik's Foundation Rwanda.

Thomas, BreakThru Radio, Art Uncovered - Flak Photo's Andy Adams. Extensive audio interview with FlakPhoto.com's Andy Adams on the background of his website, the short history of online photography and blogging, his personal history in photography, Web 2.0, and a short part about an image by a strapping young Midwestern photographer based in Colombia.

Nick Vossbrink, n j w v, Editing and Art. A meditation on the impact of editing - and who does the editing - on the meaning of a body of photographs. Make sure to follow the link at the top right of the article to link to Part II.

And non-photography recommended reading:

Jonah Lehrer, The New Yorker, Groupthink: The Brainstorming Myth. Brainstorming, the popular idea-generating strategy employed in schools and business since the 1940s, produces less ideas than individuals working in isolation. I'd like to host a group conversation in which we try to come up with ideas about why this might be together in a freewheeling, non-critical environment.

Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times, Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality? We might not be as far away from living forever as we think, renewing my hope that one day I may actually catch up on keywording my images in Lightroom.