Giving Thanks Artfully
Who Owns the Photographic Image?

Sharing Quality Images for Critical Writing and Discussion

Foundation WallArtists and Makers are the foundation of the arts and crafts community. Whether for personal benefit or for community support, the images of your work provide a crucial mode of communication.

 

CupConv12
Consuming Conversation © 2004
"Never Let Your Ideas Decieve You From
The Real Truth"

Post consumer recycled tin cans,
bronze handle,
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

From a range of persepctives, several speakers at SOFA Chicago (including Susan Cummins, Garth Clark, Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos) emphasized that critical writing and dialogs are vital to raise the consciousness of craft media and that visual communication with quality photographic images is an essential component.

41OiZd-LhGL._SL160_ The importance of great photographic images for your art or craft along with adequate documentation was stressed by Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos, authors of the book Makers: A History of American Studio Craft. When starting the book they thought they would be overwhelmed by the quantity of images and the task of deciding which photos to use in their very important book Makers.

However, it turned out that the images in the book were often chosen from which images were available and acceptable, rather than from an excess of images.  How can it be that an artist's or maker's entire body of work, a lifetime of artistic exploration, is represented solely by which image can be found?  @%!#!!!!

During the same day of lectures, Garth Clark raised the problem of some artists not allowing images of their work to be used in print or lectures out of concern that such use might negatively affect their branding or identity as an artist. I recommend you read the previous two posts:

Pandora's Box or Toolbox - COPYRIGHT of Photographic Images

Photo Permission & Copyright Issues - Is this hampering a dialog?

OscarWILDE I believe that it should be a shared responsibility for artists and makers to support growth and "the free exchange of ideas in a visual culture"* by allowing images of our work to be used for critical writing and lectures (without requesting monetary compensation).  By far most critiques are net positives.  But if not, Oscar Wilde said it best, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

So always have great photos ready. The quality of photographic images of your work  often reflects the quality of the work itself.

To obtain the maximum mutual benefits,  support the arts community by freely sharing your great images for inclusion in writing, discertations, lectures, books, and magazines. Let's help make valuable contributions to the community with the very best of photographic images of our work.

Harriete

*quote from email conversation with Bruce Metcalf, author of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft.

P.S. More information about the issues surrounding photographic images in digital age will be presented on May 28, 2010 during the Professional Development Seminar at the SNAG Conference. Stay tuned for more information about Photography in Flux: Technical Issues, Media and Style.

DATE:           May 28, 2010
TIME:         9:00 to 12:00
                 (followed by brown bag lunch discussion)
LOCATION: The Westin Hotel,
                 1900 5th Ave,
                 Seattle, WA.

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