Reading Shortlist 9.12.13

Still from "How to use an Afghan box camera 'kamra-e-faoree'"

The Reading Shortlist is an occasional post with an eclectic listing of recommended sites, 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.

Anyana V Jackson undresses the past. After a conversation on Twitter recently about Pieter Hugo, John Edwin Mason suggested a worthwhile look at this video with Jackson speaking about her show "Archival Impulse."

Pete Brook, Photography Is the New Universal Language, and It’s Changing Everything, Raw File. A wide-ranging conversation with Marvin Heiferman, author of Photography Changes Everything that follows up on the book's central argument that we need to consider the medium in a fuller way than we traditionally have.

Ian Brown, Humanity takes millions of photos everyday. Why are most so forgettable?, The Globe and Mail. Brown explains why the incredible jump in photography production doesn't necessarily need to cause panic among professional photographers calling it "an incredible surge in mediocrity."

From "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photograph: The Story Behind the Famous Shot Read"

Meghan Gambino, Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photograph: The Story Behind the Famous Shot, Smithsonian.com. A recount of what is actually known - or how little is known - about one of the most famous photographs ever taken.

How to use an Afghan box camera "kamra-e-faoree." A seven-and-a-half minute video on one of the last two remaining street photographers in Kabul - and it's not the type of "street photographer" you might think. Includes a fantastic intermission.

Fred Ritchin, What a Photograph Can Accomplish, Time LightBox. A call to re-evaluate not what photography can do for us today, but what we want photography to do for us today. Talks through projects Ritchin cites as "useful" because they advance photographic ideas instead of replicating previous photographic icons and strategies.

Jerry Saltz, Saltz on the Death of the Gallery, Vulture. Saltz explores the importance of the physical gallery to artistic conversation. "The art world has become more of a virtual reality than an actual one, useful perhaps for conceptualizing in the abstract but otherwise illusory."

Frances Stonor Saunders, Modern art was CIA 'weapon,' The Independent. Confirmation has emerged of the long rumored CIA-sponsorship of Abstract Expressionism and other Cold War art forms as part of a covert propaganda war versus the Soviet Union.