ISSUE 11: TRACES
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS Each issue of ISO begins with a conversation, a show and tell of sorts. We share work that excites us, questions that nag at us, and topics that fascinate us. We talk our way toward an intersection of all of these things and at this intersection we find our theme. At the root of our discussion was the idea that photographs almost always act as traces of the past. (As Mitch Hedberg aptly joked, “One time, this guy handed me a picture of him, he said, ’Here’s a picture of me when I was younger.’ Every picture is of you when you were younger.”) Aware of the fact that “Traces” could encompass nearly any photograph, we sought to explore work that emphasized this theme or that expanded our understanding of it. We were interested not only in traces themselves but also in their suggestive potential and the act of tracing a path. In his featured essay, Paul Funkhouser considers how images influence the current moment, what Roland Barthes
called “co-presence” and “countermemory,” to grapple with Ahlam Shibli’s Death images. In Down These Mean Streets, Will Steacy crafts a web of visual and textual detritus along with his own photographs to trace the fading of the American dream. Juan Madrid’s Welcome to Flint picks up where Steacy leaves off, with a humanizing look into a post-industrial American city. Complicating our theme, we included Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascapes which assert the preeminence of the timeless and the universal. In contrast, the images compiled on the blog “CamGirlBRB” reveal the vestiges of transient online performances, leaving us to construct our own imagined narratives. We hope that collected in a single, printed container, these seemingly disparate parts will offer insight into the way images signify the greater processes and forces that surround them. -Perri Hofmann & Jonah Rosenberg
ISO is a biannual publication conceived and created by a group of New York University undergraduate students based in the Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Photography & Imaging. Since 2008, we have worked to explore contemporary themes in photography. We place the work of emerging photographers in conversation with that of established artists, as well as write critically and creatively on photography. Copyright © 2014 ISO Magazine. All rights reserved.
Cover: Russell Barsanti, Cape Breton Inside Cover: Untitled by Acacia Johnson, Alaska, acaciajohnson.com