There isn’t exactly a shortage of images in the world. The two photographs above taken by Jesse Alexander are of the work 24 Hours of Photographs by Erik Kessels. Kessels has downloaded and printed every photograph uploaded on flickr during one 24 hour period. As you would imagine, Jesse is not the only person to have photographed Kessels work – there is no shortage of images of the no shortage of images – try doing a Google search
The abundance does not stop just with images, there is also a very considerable number of photobooks published every year. Here is Alec Soth talking a couple of weeks ago about the state of the photobook. Soth starts by quoting Robert Frank: “There are too many images, too many cameras now. We’re all being watched. It gets sillier and sillier. As if all action is meaningful. Nothing is really all that special. It’s just life. If all moments are recorded, then nothing is beautiful and maybe photography isn’t an art any more. Maybe it never was.” From this rather bleak start, Soth identifies three ways he thinks that photographers are dealing with the flood
Embracing the flood – making the flood the subject – Kessels work is clearly an example of this but Soth also mentions Roe Etheridge. I am not sure about this as I think that Etheridge is arguably using the next approach. Appropriation selecting from the flood rather than taking new photographs yourself. Soth mentions Doug Richard, but I think many British readers will probably think first of the work of Mishka Henner. Finally, Soth identifies story telling citing Cristina de Middel‘s work. People are hungry for stories, he says.
So my question? How do you deal with the flood? Knowing that if you take photographs you merely adding to a global flood, what is it that motivates you to do it anyway?