Disphotic News 2015

St John’s party, Shrewsbury. January 1, 1953.
Geoff Charles, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales

Happy new year! Here’s a little news about Disphotic to kick off 2015. First of all I’ve finally transferred over the better posts from the old blog site, which is now no more. Although it’s a little sad to pull the plug on the old site it just made no sense having the material spread across two sites. Now it’s been refined down to the better posts, which have finally also all been catalogued in one place in a coherent way for easy recall and rereading. You can find links to all the old posts through the writing catalogue (link also in the header of the site) or search or view posts by month using the archive tab to the right. Because of the transfer of the old posts there are a few teething problems with some images on the old posts not displaying properly but these are gradually being fixed.

There are a few other minor changes on the blog, mostly back of house things which you hopefully won’t notice but should make the user experience more enjoyable. The main change is that the monthly e-mail updates about new posts have been restored by popular demand, and you can sign up for these and manage your subscription here or through the subscribe link in the blog’s banner. I have a few plans content wise as well. One is to loosely theme some months around particular topics and issues, both photographic ones and wider ones. For example in March we have a month of reviews, interviews and comment pieces coming up to coincide with the anniversary of the Ukraine crisis and the Russian annexation of Crimea.

I also feel a little more accountability is in order when it comes to reviews, so from here on I’ll be noting at the end of the reviews whether the book or exhibition ticket was gratis from a publisher or gallery. It might seem minor to note this but the more time I spend writing about photography the more aware I feel of the uncomfortable closeness that can develop between critics and the things they ought to be critiquing. This little bit of openness seems like a small way of counter-balancing that, and also seems like a good way of reminding readers of the dynamic that often exists here.

When I launched this new site I had the idea of also producing a hard copy of Disphotic on a semi-regular basis. This has proved impractical, the time requirement to write for two versions of the Disphotic, as well as writing for other places, working on my own photographic projects (I’m actually a photographer you know) and er, also just making a living, was just too much. The hard copy idea hasn’t completely died a death though, I’m working on a plan to produce a co-operative joint publication with a few other photography writers, partly as a way to start to establish some connections between us (we’re generally a fairly fragmented bunch) and also as a way to get a range of diverse opinions on key issues in photography collected together in one place, free from any of the usual institutional pressures to say nice things. More on that soon.

That’s all, thanks for reading and here’s to a great 2015!