Posts by: John Veldhoen

Calgary Film and Analog Printing Services

 By John Veldhoen

 

If you are looking for local film development or analog printing services, I recommend Calgary based Carla Fedje Studio. Carla has recently come into possession of a fine Zone IV enlarger and some exquisite lenses that can make prints from negatives up to 4×5 inches. She has built a darkroom with a Skil saw, a power drill, and sheer will.

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Civilization

 By John Veldhoen

 

I’m reading a book that I have out on what looks like an indefinite loan from the Calgary Public Library called “Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas”. It’s a historiographic collection of materials and essays; one, in particular, has held me in sway. The essay is entitled “Thresholds of Meaning: Voice, Time, and Epistemology in the Archaeological Consideration of Northwest Coast Art”. It illustrates a new set of methodologies that parallel ways of thinking from Ancient Greece. Ideas about continuing time versus the instant moment, as expressed in the differential between Chronos, and Kairos. Heady stuff, ok, but what I love about this book is it caused me to hold my ideas up to a lens I am unfamiliar with. 

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Notable Books 2019

 By John Veldhoen

 

In my time, taxon has moved towards complexity. Class has turned into identity. It is harder and harder to generalize or predict on the basis of common ideas. Critics and writers are hard-pressed to focus on a rising tide, and curatorial influence has ebbed over what the crowd will see as beautiful, or meaningful. The effort to influence, when accomplished, makes one think the victory is pyrrhic, at best. Nevertheless, I wanted again this year to show the books that affected how I think about photography.

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Real Photography: Five New Books

 By John Veldhoen

 

Talking with photographers reveals much, and it is a privileged position I have to be able to do so. One of the most illuminating discussions I have had is with the great Terry Munro about his time under instruction with Henry Wessel in California. 

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Old Fields, New Feels

 By John Veldhoen

 

Have you ever read anything that seemed to come to you at a critical time, so that it felt rather like it had been written for you? That page after page, you find confirmation? “Old Fields” by John Stilgoe is a transformational book. I’ve read nothing else like it.

If you want to make your pictures fit into the flow of words that go along with the prestige of photography, you will find someone to write something to relate the pictures you have made with one of these essays. There is a weird effect to this, it feels echo-chamber-y, as though there is an institutional confirmation bias in critical outlooks on photography. “Old Fields” stands out as a completely independent piece of sustained writing and thinking. Despite the title, I think many readers will feel the shock of the new. Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, “A Little History of Photography”, Roland Barthes “Camera Lucida”, and Susan Sontag’s “On Photography” make up the repeated titles that you come across in essay after essay that begin photography books. 

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