Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The streets of san francisco: Encounters with the Selle collection of street vendor photographs

A feature article of mine is appearing in the next issue of Afterimage, a special issue on the creative possibilities of archives edited by David Brittain (one of the foremost authorities on small press photography magazines). My essay chronicles several distinct ventures in grappling creatively with the more-than one million street vendor photographs in the Joseph Selle collection: An exhibition at the University of California, Davis curated by Andrew Eskind and Renny Pritigin; a video work titled 17523 Pictures by David Mount, and an artist's book, Two of Us by Elisabeth Tonnard. Each experiment is alike in pointing out the vexing instability of very-large-collection artifacts, and like very-large numbers in mathematics, these collections operate according to an entirely different logic than institutional picture collections of conventional scale. These projects are a lead in to a visionary project for the future: a monumental mural of over one million photography erected in San Francisco.

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