I CAN SEE PIXELS magazine about cell phone photography issue 1 augus 2010
Cover picture: Heinrich Holtgreve (www.holtgreve.org)
I CAN SEE PIXELS
Jerry Luo, Xiamen/China Jörg Holtkamp, Düsseldorf/Germany Tina & Tini, Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia Giselle Beiguelman, São Paulo/Brazil Michael Peligro, General Santos City/Philippines Jonathas Mello, Florianópolis/Brazil Shawn Rocco, Raleigh/USA Heinrich Holtgreve, Bielefeld/Germany Gabriel McIntosh, Chicago/USA Katrin Eßer, Dortmund/Germany 2
JĂśrg Holtkamp DĂźsseldorf/Germany
Transi The photos were done with a mobile, shooting from inside public means of transport to the outside capturing whatâ€™s inside as reflections on the glass. They are a play on mirroring and references: People are mirrored in windowpanes. The tool is mirrored in the location. The being at one and simultaneously disconnectedness of passengers and world created by an impenetrable glass mirrors itself in the being at one and simultaneously disconnectedness of photographer and world by a phone. The decomposition through reflections mirrors itself in the decomposition through the low picture quality of the phone and the further going decomposition through the seemingly inappropriate giant size of the final prints.
The use of an extremely advanced electronic camera system (nothing else is a cell phone camera) combined with huge prints (extremely advanced electronic printing tool) resulted in prints that looked nearly painted. This look is created by the choice of tools, not by manipulation or postproduction. The choice is the manipulation. Sometimes a mobile is the perfect camera. 7
Tina & Tini Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia www.flickr.com/tinatini
Somewhere Nowhere Anywhere
cell phone images rom every daily nowheres
S達o Paulo/Brazil www.desvirtual.com
Michael Peligro General Santos City/Philippines www.flickr.com/archangel_raphael
With a cell phone we have much more opportunities and angles to take pictures. Even at a bus trip, when bored somewhere or at an unexpected sunshine we have cell phone and digital memory to experiment new approaches to a theme.
Jonathas Mello Florian贸polis/Brazil
Cellular Obscura Shawn Rocco Exploring the world with a mobile phone. www.cellularobscura.com
`e Crisis Being part of the “market” is being part of the “crisis”. The image of a banker pulling his hair out on the trading floor has been used all too often by the media. Looking for alternatives that visualise this barely graspable phenomenon. With cell phone cameras blazing, situations encountered regarding the theme “the crisis” were filled with new content.
Cameraphone by Gabriel McIntosh
The cameraphone book series began as a random journal of photos I took with the camera on my cell phone. The cell phone fit in my pocket and I always have it with me. Originally I had no intention of using the images other than for collecting ideas of stream of conscious photography that might lead to a larger more narrow artistic endeavor. It did, but not in the way I expected. I realized the method and imagery were the project, so I focused on this relatively new style, which if not called a new medium, it is definitely a new method with a cultural context that may possibly be called a movement. 48
polished and seem more real, more raw, more believable. The photographs are even truer to life than more accurate and precise photographs made with more tradition tools. It is in a sense reality photography, like reality television. Mobile phone photography becomes cultural hi-fidelity due to it’s very perceived authenticity and yet, simultaneously low-fidelity because the images are pixilated and of low technologically quality. A The truth represented by mobile phone photography is unique to our age and though it resembles prior art movements in painting, photography, and video. It differs in that it is not necessarily represented by professionals or hobbyists. It may (but does not have to) lack complete intention of action. It represents the circumstantial. The many people who took photos of a man getting shot by a police officer, and then spread those images around the Internet, may of had no intention of becoming photographers. Their phones just happened to have built-in cameras. They happened to be in at that place at that time. Those images seem more believable than a photo that a professional photojournalist or seasoned armature photographer happened to take with a better eye and far better equipment. This is because of the images’ rawness and lack of glossiness... and quality. So this, on some level becomes the standard of reality, like the shaky camera movements in a television drama that gives the viewer the sense that they’re watching a documentary. Though, even documentaries are done by professionals. The camera phone feels purely amateur, or even less than amateur. Even an amateur may have aspirations of becoming something more than just a shutterbug. But someone who captures news unintentionally as it happened without foresight or intention probably has no artistic or journalistic aspirations. This differs from the man with a camera who goes out and seeks images. In this age the person who looks for images may loose credibility because they want the shot. The
The cameraphone books have conventional imagary of street photography, family candids, and walking images, all taken with a cell phone camera. Using the cell phone camera as a visual diary, I capture the elegance in the random chaos of routine commutes, social situations, and visual minutiae of everyday life. The photographs are democratic in both the chosen images and the method of the photographs’ creation. Cell phones are ubiquitous and almost all phones have camera’s built into them dispelling the notion that they are solely verbal communication devices, but visual as well. This low-fi/hi-tech combination is the underlying premise exhibiting the view that accurate replication is not necessarily representing truth, conceptually extending the idea of impressionist painters of the nineteenth century – that exact mimesis did not necessary capture the true beauty in nature. A The cell phone is hi-technology and it’s camera takes low quality photographs, images that are less accurate, less true-to-life, so in the strictest sense they are lowfidelity. Though because cell phone cameras are almost everywhere, making photography and photographic imagery more accessible than even the Kodak Brownie did 100 years ago, the images are more amateur, less 49
images from the person who doesn’t search for images feels more believable because they are authentically a witness. This gives the viewer of cell phone photos the feeling of being there and also being a firsthand witness. And a viewer can also relate, because cell phone images appear as anyman images – images the viewer may think they could have taken if they had been there... with their phone. A This may all change as reality tv has changed into unscripted performance by non-professional actors. With almost everyone having a cell phone and thusly a camera, everyone in public runs the chance of being visually documented. A more populist, mob version of the 1984 that George Orwell predicted. People may start to “act” all the time. This is extreme and presently unlikely. But has the complete ubiquity of cameras – not as cameras, but as part of something else (a phone) – given photography as art, or otherwise, an even longer tail than before?
Katrin EĂ&#x;er Dortmund/Germany www.katrinesser.de
Want to be part of the next issue? Send your cell phone photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture on previous page: Artur Krutsch
Magazine about cell phone photography Issue one August 2010 Thanks to Prof. Cindy Gates, Katrin EĂ&#x;er and all the photographers for their support.
I CAN SEE PIXELS is published by Artur Krutsch. Wielandstrasse 27 / 44147 Dortmund/Germany email@example.com / www.arturkrutsch.de No image or text from this I CAN SEE PIXELS Issue can be reproduced without the artists prior permission. All images and texts are protected by copyright and belong to the artist.
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