1. A look inside the Hollywood studio of artist Matthew Brandt. Brandt discusses his project "Lakes & Reservoirs", which is included in "Rogue Wave 2013" at L.A. Louver.

    Learn more about Matthew Brandt and Rogue Wave 2013 at roguewaveprojects.com/html/rogue-wave-exhibition.cfm?tExhibition_id=898

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  2. This is one of the five short films commissioned by the V&A as part of the 'Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography' exhibition on display at the V&A from October 2010 to February 2011.

    Each film features one of the five international artists featured in the exhibition, showing their studios and places that inspire them. This is a revealing and evocative look at their working environments and an insight into their creative ideas.

    Transcript:

    If we look at art and I do look at art there is art that speaks to me and art that does not speak to me.

    First of all one has to be interested visually, and then with a lot of art nowdays, you need to know the background.

    The house here is now a museum and it says such a lot about Fox Talbot's life and if you look around today you can understand everything he himself developed and tried out. You really could believe that Talbot had just been working here.

    An important aspect of my work was more conditioned by the medium itself: I carried the photogram out of the laboratory, that is out of the studio, and took it to the objects. And the very first photo I made outside the studio, the first photogram, was of this window.

    I don't particularly consider myself to be a pioneer, I use this technique because I find it to be a medium that is suitable for purpose, and because, and this is the important thing, I am interested in what they used to do with this technique before my time, which is why we are sitting here today.

    A very important aspect of a photogram is this contact, how do I put it…a photogram is not a reproduced print, it is a contact picture. You sense that the object was originally in contact with the picture.

    The question is, and this possible with photograms, how to get away from the purely documentary aspect and make a picture of the window about the window.

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  3. This is one of the five short films commissioned by the V&A as part of the 'Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography' exhibition on display at the V&A from October 2010 to February 2011.

    Each film features one of the five international artists featured in the exhibition, showing their studios and places that inspire them. This is a revealing and evocative look at their working environments and an insight into their creative ideas.

    Transcript:

    I like forms in my work to raise questions. Is there a spiritual element to being alive? Is there a spiritual element to my past experiences?

    I feel that I explore my themes, essentially in the dark. The dark room is the shadow place. So when in that place, you know that’s where you make discoveries, where you’re creator, it’s more in there than in the light.

    I feel a photogram, which has much less information, has much more intimacy and feeling than a normal photograph.

    The way I discovered the photogram was through accidentally finding within the pinhole camera process that it would be possible to make pictures without needing the outside world as a subject.

    Metaphorically I stepped into the camera…and I’m still there.

    I came to snakes and ladders recently because I was interested in how the snake was depicted as a negative phenomenon, and the work I’d been doing with snakes and ladders has allowed me to explore that paradox around the snake as being something very energetic, powerful, positive. And at the same time being something that is corrupting, repulsive, to be avoided.

    Bringing images, manifesting images, that bringing out and externalising has been therapeutic for me. Healing.

    You don’t create, you die. You know, you’re not creative, you die. It’s just about survival really.

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  4. Mariah Robertson talks about her work

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What Is a Photograph?

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What Is a Photograph? is on view at the International Center of Photography January 31–May 4, 2014.
Visit icp.org for more information.

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