Meri Walker ~ Careful Boundaries in Close Proximity.


Three spirits came to me
And drew me apart
To where the olive boughs
Lay stripped upon the ground:

Pale carnage beneath bright mist.

Ezra Pound

I changed the price of this album to zero so that you can download it for free. One hour of very soothing music, guaranteed stress-buster.

Knox Bronson ~ The iProng Chronicles

Back in 2010, passions were running high in the nascent movement of iphonism, aka, iphoneography or iphonic art, never “mobile photography.” I got lots of comments on the Submissions Guidelines and the Curation pages.

The following exchange took place in October, on the Submissions Guidelines page. Someone named iPhone Photog posted a challenge of sorts. I started calling him/her iProng and made the picture above for him/her. At first, I thought iProng was insulting all the art on Pixels, but then I figured out that iProng was denigrating only my work. That made things a lot simpler. We went back and forth a couple times and then a friend of mine (Art Historian) chimed in to stick up for me.

iProng disappeared after that, much to my dismay.

Ah, those early days!

iPhone Fotog on October 4, 2010 at 10:29 am (Edit)

Dear Mr. Bronson,

I am confused. 

You state: We strongly suggest that, if you must use Hipstamatic, use it sparingly. We want the pictures that reflect YOU, not Hipstamatic. I highly recommend further apping Hipstamatic shots to reduce the cookie-cutter imprint/filtering Hipstamatic imposes on images.

But then you come up with this quote that says: “Aim well, shoot fast, and app that bitch until it sings.” — Knox Bronson.

Kind of a contradiction, wouldn’t you say?

Why do you hide behind your apps? Is it because you know that without them, your iPhone photographs are truly works of amateur and below-average shit?

Delete this comment if you like, but if you’re all that you say you are, you will leave it in tact and respond with a true answer.

Your thoughts? 

Knox on October 4, 2010 at 11:34 am

I don’t delete any comments. I welcome comments such as yours.First off, Hipstamatic does not allow people to app pictures in the same way that, say, EffectTouch, or PhotoFX, or even Lo-Mob, do. Hipstamatic generates such an over-powering imprint on most (note I say most) images that the artist’s personality is lost: all that is left is “this is Hipstamatic speaking.” Not the artist who took the picture. I have written to many artists in whom I detected a good eye for composition, but whom were lost in the Hipsta matrix, to ditch the app and explore other apps. Almost without exception, I have received thank you notes, and have subsequently witnessed amazing growth with said artists. Hipstamatic seems to me to be sort of iphonographic karaoke, kind of a hipster affectation, not a true tool for individual expression, but rather an app used for tribal identification. Hipstamatic is a limited set of tools lazy people use to create the iphonographic equivalent of trip-hop for retards.
Also note that I say “App that bitch ’til it SINGS!”
Hipstamatic doesn’t sing: hipstamatic dribbles.
Are you beginning to understand the difference between Hipstamatic and real apps now?
And on to your other remarks/questions:
Oh yes, the amateur and below average shit without the apps question/statement. Well, I love the art on Pixels. It has come a long way in a short time and I firmly believe the existence of the site has had something to do with that. I love the artists. There are a number about whom I get excited when I see their names in the submissions emails. And I love my own work, too. I’m down to maybe two pictures a month, though, now.
Someone else just accused me of having a strong bias towards post-production when I declined to print four of his daily walk-on-the-beach photo-blogging project. This was part of my reply, but it will serve to answer your question, I’m sure.
Here we go:
Ansel Adams said if you get twelve good images a year, that’s “a good crop.”
Pixels is not about blogging, or daily shots or any kind of process. I don’t even like “concepts!” It’s one image at a time. In fact I am encouraging all the artists to slow down, shoot more, app more if needed (or app less, if not needed), and post less. I want quality over quantity.
Cartier-Bresson did not do his own printing, but he would make his assistants work for a week figuring out how to get the perfect print from a negative, using an enlarger, dodging, burning, and chemical solution timing. That is also “apping.” Old school apping, but absolutely apping. So Cartier, too, had a strong bias towards post-production, after the decisive moment, of course. :)
I am looking for magic, as in magical realism, for lack of a better term, not snapshots. I have looked at probably eight or nine thousand pictures this year. I have published 4,500, one at a time. If I had time, I would depublish a 500-1000 of them, easily, including at least a third of my own.
*********************end of my reply to him
So “apping,” post-production, is endemic to image making. I’ve made my thoughts very clear about taking an image off the iphone elsewhere, so no need to go into them now. I love a crisp black and white shot, there are many on the site. Check out Ramona Gillentine. On the other end, look at what Maia Panos, and Jon Betts, and Andrea Mdos are doing … very heavily apped, amazing stuff that should be in museums … this is great art, vibrant and alive. Or Jaime Ferreyros or Joan Bada or Elena Herrero … lots of apping … look at the Sarah Remix project … a lot of apping of already beautiful nudes.
And I have learned how to print these pictures quite well. And I have presented them to the public several times for extended periods. And I have seen first hand, more than any single person on the planet, how people react to this vibrant art form of ours when printed well and displayed with the respect due to both art and artist.
It excites me to be a part of this global movement. The goal of Pixels is and has always been to take the art off the internet and get it into galleries, museums, and people’s homes as framed art. I want Pixels artists to take themselves and their work seriously. This is an emergent art form and I believe that I have the shining core of the true pioneers posting on my site. That’s what keeps me going.
So … did I answer your questions? Do you have any others? Have you ever submitted to Pixels? Let’s see what you’ve got, big boy.

iPhone Fotog: on October 4, 2010 at 11:47 am Mr. Bronson,I don’t see how you even take yourself seriously. Although you say “I want Pixels artists to take themselves and their work seriously”. You take pictures of your cats, man. Come on. All you need now is a lovely Christmas sweater to got with it.There are so many other iPhone photographers run circles around your work.In your eyes, you’re part of “the movement”? To most other people, you’re a “set back” in that same very “movement”.As for the other artists you mentioned. I’ve got nothing but love for each one you mentioned. But the problem is…THEY TOO run circles around your work. Maybe YOU should submit YOUR work to a contest or exhibit or two and see where it goes. Show them what you got, big boy.i.F.PS. Gonna leave THIS one up for public view? 

Knox on October 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm Oh … you are insulting my work! It’s not all Pixels artists you are dissing, just me. Are you looking at my cat blog that I haven’t posted on in months?You don’t like my art? Jeez, I think I will cry. But I think I will depublish a bunch of my work. I was just looking through it last night with Maia and saying I should get rid of a bunch of this. She agreed. I went through a period, like many people where I was just trying to produce too much work and it all suffered as a result. It’s part of the growth curve, I believe, based on observation.Well, if you don’t like my iphonography, maybe you will like my music. You can find me on iTunes. Under Knox Bronson.Jesus, I thought you were attacking all the artists and the art form, not just me. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time answering you if I had known that.I don’t know who you are and … surprisingly … I don’t give a fuck! Feel free to send in more questions any time you want. I am here to serve. 

Knox on October 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm

You know, I just had a thought, iProngPhotog, you could be the Mr. Blackwell of the iphonographic world. You know, start a blog and do the “Ten Worst” lists every day or week or month or year. You know who Mr. Blackwell is, don’t you?… On another note, I just depublished about 50 pictures, almost half of mine. Glad I did. I knew they were weak. Thanks for the nudge, iProng!

Art Historian on October 5, 2010 at 9:03 am (Edit)Dear i.F.,Hi, I do not know you personally but you did pique my curiosity. I don’t know if you are aware of the incredibly interesting history of art, but I am.Artists such as Monet and Van Gogh were shunned by established salons and not considered real artists. The art elite considered everything from their subject matter to their play of light in their work, which deviated from the accepted norm, as simplistic, ridiculous, and basically not good…clearly those elite were mistaken.I do not begrudge you your dislike of Mr. Bronson’s work, after all art is subjective, but you devalue your own point and appear as nothing more than a silly elitist when you take the time to come onto his site and crassly insult him in a manner that is really better saved for those at the bar…or any other place where those who aren’t actually a part of anything of value for that matter…congregate, yelling loudly in the din, though no one is listening because the other patrons are too busy yelling about how they can’t cut a break, are better than, or simply sit and cry because in their heart of hearts they know they have nothing to contribute and no one to listen.I do admit a bit of hesitation in calling you an elitist, perhaps that is unfair, to be an elitist you must actually have some kind of qualifications. What is your knowledge of art history or art? Do you hold a doctoral degree from a reputable university, are you educated in the long and illustrious history of which Mr. Bronson is a part? Or are you simply an angry person with nothing more to contribute than some ugly slurs and attempts at baiting a person who is clearly doing something interesting and evocative? perhaps I should not refer to you as an elitist, but simply a bully.Either way, Mr. Bronson is contributing to the greater good, he is contributing something that will live long after he is gone, however, someday you will cease to exist, leaving nothing of value, and you will be forgotten. How sad for you.Sincerely, Art Historian

The Art of the iPhone

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