The Collective /SHARE
“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Susan Sontag, author of these words and late partner of famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, passed away in December of 2004. At that time a little social networking service called Facebook was in its infancy, online public broadcasting behemoth YouTube was still incubating in utero, and everyone’s latest pixel addiction Instagram was a good six years away from conception.
Sontag, it would seem, was unsurprisingly ahead of her time: her definitive observation about the ubiquity of the photograph in our culture has proven increasingly valid since her untimely passing. In the age of the iPhone, social media and YouTube, it’s a rare space that hasn’t been perforated by a lens.
It’s a rare face that hasn’t been splashed (or begged to be slapped) across a multitude of online interfaces. For many of us living in the virtual age, our lives have become a visual essay – cropped, retouched, blown-out and vintage-filtered. If this be the case (and it would certainly seem so) is there any art left in the art of photography?
Founded in 2008, and now one of the largest of its kind, the New York Photo Festival 2012 aims to explore photography as both art and social documentary within our contemporary image-drenched culture. Over five days, four major curators presented exhibitions, panel discussions, book-signings, receptions, and live events held in NYC’s creative hub of Dumbo, Brooklyn. It promised to be an epic visual odyssey – a feast for the eyes! Or at the very least, pretty decent Instagram material.