Photography as "Terrorism" continued

Directly as a response to investigations that exposed the horror of animal agriculture, legislators in Idaho have introduced yet another "ag-gag" bill, Senate Bill 1337.  This bill has passed the Idaho Senate and is pending in the House.    This is the latest of many attempts to stifle imagery that illustrates the horrifying reality of animal agriculture.  These bills are a blatant violation of the First Amendment of the United States.

Please contact Idaho Governor Butch Otter and urge him to veto this bill here.

A piece from my series Fast Food  will be included in the Juried Exhibition, "75 Years: Selections from the CCSF Photography Department" at SF Camerawork, 1011 Market Street, 2nd Floor @ 6th Street in San Francisco on view January 8, 2014 – February 1, 2014 with an opening reception on January 17th from 6-8pm. 

"Although not deliberate in intent, the apparatus of criticism ends in displacing what it criticizes...  In order to consolidate and inform critical practice, agreement must be reached, among the critics, as to what merits critical study and discussion.  These figures will provide the icons for the emerging pantheon of photography.  Admirable as this must be for the critic, it imposes a misleading order and coherence on the creative disorder of image-making."  ~ Wright Morris from In Our Image 1978

"There is so much beauty in the world it is incredible that we are ever miserable for a moment; there is so much shit in the world that it is incredible we are ever happy for a moment.” ~ Geoff Dyer from Otherwise Known as the Human Condition 2011


 "...nobody knows what art is or God or all the other abstractions, particularly those who make claims to such knowledge.  There are a few, however, who do know what photography is... they have some idea whether a thing is genuine and alive or false or dead.

"In closing, I will say this to you as students of photography.  Don't think when I say students that I am trying to talk down.  We are all students.  Some a little longer at it than the others, a little more experienced.  When you cease to be a student you might as well be dead as far as the significance of your work is concerned... if this camera machine with its materials fascinates you, compels your energy and respect, learn to photograph.  Find out first what this machine and these materials can do without any interference except your own vision." ~ Paul Strand from The Art Motive in Photography 1923

"Qualsiasi persona tu decida di fotografare, o qualsiasi cosa, devi continuare a fotografarla sempre, solo quella, a tutte le ore del giorno e della notte. La fotografia ha un senso solo se esaurisce tutte le immagini possibili." Italo Calvino L'avventura di un fotografo, Gli amori difficili


English translation: 

"Whatever person you decide to photograph, or whatever thing, you must go on photographing it always, exclusively, at every hour of the day and night.  Photography has a meaning only if it exhausts all possible images." Italo Calvino The Adventure of a Photographer, Difficult Loves


"Il gusto della foto spontanea naturale colta dal vivo uccide la spontaneità, allontana il presente. La realtà fotografata assume subito un carattere nostalgico, di gioia fuggita sull'ala del tempo, un carattere commemorativo, anche se è una foto dell'altro ieri. E la vita che vivete per fotografarla è già in partenza commemorazione di se stessa." Italo Calvino L'avventura di un fotografo, Gli amori difficili  

English translation: 

"The taste for the spontaneous, natural, lifelike snapshot kills spontaneity, drives away the present.  Photographed reality immediately takes on a nostalgic character, of joy fled on the wings of time, a commemorative quality, even if the picture was taken the day before yesterday.  And the life that you live in order to photograph it is already, at the outset, a commemoration of itself."  Italo Calvino The Adventure of a Photographer, Difficult Loves


"Con la primavera, a centinaia di migliaia, i cittadini escono la domenica con l'astuccio a tracolla. E si fotografano. Tornano contenti come cacciatori dal carniere ricolmo, passano i giorni aspettando con dolce ansia di vedere le foto sviluppate (ansia a cui alcuni aggiungono il sottile piacere delle manipolazioni alchimistiche nella stanza oscura, vietata alle intrusioni dei familiari e acre d'acidi all'olfatto), e solo quando hanno le foto sotto gli occhi sembrano prendere tangibile possesso della giornata trascorsa, solo allora quel torrente alpino, quella mossa del bambino col secchiello, quel riflesso di sole sulle gambe della moglie acquistano l'irrevocabilità di ciò che è stato e non può esser più messo in dubbio. Il resto anneghi pure nell'ombra insicura del ricordo." ~ Italo Calvino L'avventura di un fotografo, Gli amori difficili 

English translation: 

"When spring comes, the city's inhabitants, by the hundreds of thousands, go out on Sundays with leather cases over their shoulders.  And they photograph one another.  They come back as happy as hunters with bulging game bags; they spend days waiting, with sweet anxiety, to see the developed pictures (anxiety to which some add the subtle pleasure of alchemistic manipulations in the darkroom, forbidding any intrusion by members of the family, relishing the acid smell that is harsh to the nostrils).  It is only when they have the photos before their eyes that they seem to take tangible possession of the day they spent, only then that the mountain stream, the movement of the child with his pail, the glint of the sun on the wife's legs take on the irrevocability of what has been and can no longer be doubted.  Everything else can drown in the unreliable shadow of memory."  Italo Calvino The Adventure of a Photographer, Difficult Loves


A piece from my series Fast Food  will be included in the Women Environmental Artist Directory Juried Membership Exhibition, "Art in a Time of Climatological Catastrophes" at the China Brotsky Art Gallery, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, The Presidio Building 1016, 1014 Torney Ave. at Lincoln Blvd. in San Francisco.  Gallery hours are Monday - Friday 9AM - 5PM.  The opening reception   is Thursday, September 19, 2013 5PM - 8PM at the China Brotsky Art Gallery.  The works of art in this exhibition aim to stimulate thinking about the challenge of imbalances in global ecological and economic systems.

Two pieces from my series Dog Park  will be auctioned at the PETA Art for Animals fundraiser on September 15, 2013 at the PETA Foundation, 554 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610 from 4-6PM.

Photography as "Terrorism"

"Ag-Gag" laws criminalize anyone who photographs a farm or agricultural facility.  They have been passed in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Utah, and are pending in Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. 

In addition, federal laws such as the "Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act" of 2006 and the "Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,"  funded through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by Monsanto, the Koch brothers,  ExxonMobil, and associations representing the meat industries, have been invoked to prosecute animal rights activists (for example Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) for showing imagery of animals tortured in vivisection labs. 

Even those who care nothing about the plight of 10 billion animals every year in the U.S., incarcerated in Confined Animal Feeding Operations (factory farms) until their violent slaughter, or those who are unconcerned about the millions of animals needlessly tortured in research labs, must be outraged at this straightjacketing of human freedom of speech and expression.  These bills  are motivated not by justice or by concern for the welfare of American citizens, they are motivated purely by greed and profit.  They are a flagrant violation of the first amendment to the US Constitution.  


Three pieces from my series Fast Food are currently on view on the fifth floor (north side) of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center at 2180 Milvia Street in Berkeley, CA, 94704.  A reception is planned for the fall of 2013.  The exhibition continues until May, 2014.  

The Civic Center Art Exhibition is a public art project of the Berkeley Civic Arts Commission. Selected works are exhibited on every floor of the Civic Center. 

Hours are: 8AM -5PM Monday - Friday except for the second and fourth Friday of the month (closed).


Photography is often described as capturing reality.  I don't agree.  Reality can no more be captured by a photograph than the sea can be captured by a sieve.


On May 30, the Chicago Sun Times laid off it's entire photography staff, further marginalizing the role of photographer to that of artist or hobbyist. 

A photograph is a collaboration between the photographer, light, chance, and the viewer.  Not necessarily in that order.

Overheard in the park today:  "... but, like, mostly my memories of him are just like pictures."

"Philosophically, nothing I have ever done has been more fitted to me than the Gospel of St. Matthew because of my tendency always to see something sacred and mythical and the epic quality in everything even in the most humdrum, simple, and banal objects and events." ~ Pier Paolo Pasolini

"What possessed a generation of young European artists, and a few Americans, to suddenly suppress recognizable imagery in pictures and sculptures?  Unthinkable at one moment, the strategy became practically compulsory in the next.  Many of the artists had answers - or, at least, they cooked them up.  The trailblazing Wassily Kandinsky and the bulletproof masters of abstraction, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich, doubled, tortuously, as theorists.  They initiated what would become a common feature of determinedly innovator art culture to this day: the simpler the art, the more elaborate the rationale.  That's easily understood.  We need stories.  When they are banished within art, they re-form around and about it."  ~ Peter Schjeldahl from Shapes of Things - The Birth of the Abstract, New Yorker 1/7/2013

I just looked out the window and saw 3 beautiful teen girls, in their jeggings or leggings and ballerina flats or booties, their hair long and thick and lustrous, prowling in front of the house across the street where the skateboarder lives with his 2 adorable pre-school girls and wide-hipped, sexy wife with the perfect blonde hair cut blunt just below her ears.  One of the teen girls wielded a camera - a real camera not just a smartphone.   The other girls styled a picture from the cute little pink polka-dotted rubbers on the stoop as she took pictures.  At first they were shy and hesitant, but as she took more pictures they became bolder.