Garry Winogrand Challenge

SUBJETCT: Garry Winogrand Challenge
FROM: FaithXue Resident
DATE: 3/27/2011


Avatars Illustrated – Visual Culture Magazine, is challenging SL Photographers to create an in-world image set “in the spirit of” Garry Winogrand.

The best entries will be featured in next month’s issue of Avatars Illustrated!

On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 6:15 PM, Kerry Streeter wrote:

Hi Faith,

Wonderful idea!  When’s the deadline?  I have quite a lot going but would like to enter.

Kerry Streeter

Hi Kerry,

What rocks about Robert Redford is that he created the Sundance Film Festival so that we could hear more voices.
What sucks about Pablo Picasso is that he ripped off African culture and claimed it as his own genius.

So now I”m asking you to rip off Garry Winogrand — ha ha ha — A lot of people hate him. Or maybe they don’t find his work compelling enough to “hate,” maybe they just don’t see that much of a “mind,” or an “eye” at work. A little bit there seems to have been a certain Exit-Thru-The-Gift-Shop-ful-ness to Winogrand’s obsessive, massive, running of film frames through his camera. But for those who find his work good… for those who find it great… I think they find an aliveness, a realness, a spontaneity, a truth, to the moments of life he found on the streets of the city.

I like to think of photographing as a two-way act of respect. Respect for the medium, by letting it do what it does best, describe. And respect for the subject, by describing as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both.  
— Garry Winogrand

I don’t know if all the women in the photographs are beautiful, but I do know that the women are beautiful in the photographs. — Garry Winogrand

A lot of photographers do snap “candids” in SL, but in part because of the limitations / dynamics of movement / animation in SL, many images are tightly posed and crafted. The idea of finding some of Winogrand’s raw power and honesty in our world seems, well, “indescribably delicious” to me.

In answer to your original question, “Deadline” — well — Avatars Illustrated, visual culture magazine, is a new publication, our 1st issue just hit the newsstands today. I’m pretty sure that future issues will be wildly divergent from that initial offering. I know I’d like to have it be about half from virtual worlds (mostly but not exclusively SL) and about half from physical worlds. We’ve announced that April’s loose theme/inspiration will be “Nautical But Nice” and May will be “El Radar.” But I think that’s already out the window.

I’m not certain that Black Swan was a “great film,” but I am certain that it was a film that culture was SO ready for… so pregnantly, explosively longing for. It has been a tremendous success and has resonated powerfully throughout culture. And so I think April wants to be AI’s “Black Swan” issue.

Also, as we diversify to incorporate work from both the virtual and physical worlds, I have found an exciting Asian photographer who creates amazing, deep, rich, sometimes dark images with dolls. Including a doll “Black Swan Poster.” The photographs of “dolls” in the “physical world” are absolutely compelling in their own right, and for us I believe they serve the additional significance of becoming a conceptual bridge to unite the physical and the virtual worlds… the tactile and the cerebral worlds…

Garry Winogrand's last Leica M4

The answer to “what’s the deadline” may change over time. For today, I think it is that we are going to publish an issue a month; we are going to throw a lot of balls up in the air, and pluck the ripest ones as our various issues coalesce into being.

Garry Winogrand clearly had a powerful, specific way of taking frames… but given the relentless volume of his production (at his death in 1984 he left behind nearly 300,000 unedited images, and more than 2,500 undeveloped rolls of film) it also seems fair to say that his vision was as much a photo editing or curatorial vision as a live production vision.

So, Avatars Illustrated will photo edit, we will curate, we will pluck from the womb of the air currents of cultural creativity those issues and articles that most urgently demand that they be brought forth into being and be presented to the world.

And, now that I’ve typed all this, if it is ok with you, I will let it be “brought forth” as a blog post.

Thank You Kerry Streeter,

— Xue Faith
Editor, Avatars Illustrated

Author: Xue Faith
Student in the Culture, Media and Creative Industries programme at King's College, London. Curator at Gallery Xue. Webmaster for avatar bloggers.

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