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Matter and anti-matter in photography

I recently watched five hours of 'Is Photography Over', a conference held at SFMOMA in 2010.  They had a panel of big hitters from the photography world.  The videos are helpfully archived on the 1000 Words Photography Magazine blog, which you can find here.

It's great viewing if you are into that kind of thing.  It was like watching matter and anti-matter come unexpectedly close together and threaten to destroy the whole universe at any moment.  It was a memorable meeting of big-rep gunfighters who had all turned up at the only saloon in town to share stories to an eager public, and while nobody got killed it was definitely a case of six guns were soon cocked and ready.

The most obvious line of contention was one that has existed in the medium since early days and which has evolved into modernist -v- post-moderninst / or observational (someone used the word documentary which was then fine-tuned to 'descriptive') -v- conceptual / or photographers -v- artists / or visceralists -v- intellectuals.

Generally it is a face off between resentment and bemusement, who can't really understand each other very well.

Geoff Dyer was funny.

I kept swopping sides.  Like I do in so many areas of life, being indecisive.

But if one vanished, became invisible dark matter, it would be a massive loss to the medium.