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July 31, 2014

The Ones We Love

A Digital Compendium Peels Back the Layers on Unlikely Moments of Frisson

The online universe is awash with images of titillating, air-brushed flesh, but one thing you can never have too much of is tender affection, according to Lindley Warren, founder and curator of photography platform The Ones We Love. A space for up-and-coming photographers to share the nuances of the people they love and cherish, the project has so far attracted the work of over 70 image-makers from far-flung locations, including today’s extended series from Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, winner of the 2014 PDN Photo Book Award. “He has the ability to make the most mundane things appear deeply fascinating,” says the Iowa-based Warren of the breezy images, a selection of which are included in a forthcoming book and touring gallery show. Paying due to the power of the written word, she encourages the site’s participants to pen a valentine to accompany their loved-up portfolio. “When I curate, I focus on emotion,” says Warren, who was in part drawn to web-based ventures due to the immediacy of the internet, and has previously founded platforms such as The Photographic Dictionary. “The new project was a way for me to peek into the lives of talented photographers and see the people that they love and are inspired by.”  

The Ones We Love launches at Atelier de Koekkoek, Vienna, on August 14; Viaduct Gallery, Iowa, on August 15; and Kunstler, Brisbane, on August 15.

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Valley Guy

Alec Soth Captures a Rare Glimpse of Los Altos’ Invisible Gold Rush

From Google to Hewlett Packard, photographer Alec Soth sets his sights on Silicon Valley and the businesses synonymous with it—right down to a local computer repair store. Throughout his time in the global technology center, the photographer acted upon the same enquiring impulse: “It’s mythical, but what is it? What’s the silicon? What’s the boundary of it? It’s like a fantasy place in some ways.” Yet what he found was decidedly less unusual than he expected. “It felt like a normal American place,” he says. “I didn’t feel like I had somehow crossed some line to Silicon Valley, with robots moving around.” The pictures form part of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's offsite exhibition Project Los Altos, that also includes artists Mike Mills, Spencer Finch, Chris Johanson and Jessica Stockholder, and include the black-and-white photograph of the garage within which Google first started. Visiting the internet giant's headquarters made a particular impression on Soth. “It was like entering a nation within a nation—I felt like I should show my passport,” he adds. “To me, Google is both funny and scary. There is something innocent about it—the front page has this childlike quality—but it’s so incredibly powerful.”

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Shorts on Sundays x Sundance: Not Eye

Celebrating 30 Years of the Film Festival with Lauren Moffatt's Look at the Power of the Gaze

Art, film and technology collide at Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier exhibition, where installations and multimedia performances from Doug Aitken, Chris Milk and emerging Paris-based artist Lauren Moffatt are subverting traditional storytelling. Exploring refuge and rebellion in our CCTV-saturated culture, Moffatt’s wry Not Eye is featured in its full stereoscopic glory at this year's showcase, and is presented today in 2D. “I like characters who are withdrawn but I am not interested in victimizing them,” says the filmmaker of the elderly French madame played by Daniele Hennebelle who stars in the quasi documentary, and whose homemade helmet is the last line of defense against the modern world’s all-conquering gaze. “The woman in the film talks very clearly about what she is afraid of, all the while staring straight into its face. That sort of courage and indignation drove the conception of the helmet and of the character wearing it.” NOWNESS spoke to Sundance curator and programmer Shari Frilot about the painter-turned-director’s installation at New Frontier, 3D filmmaking and other future-focused ideas. 

What are your thoughts on film as an installation piece?
Shari Frilot:
The moving image as encountered in an installation gets the viewer’s body involved. This resonates strongly with how we engage with it in our networked and media saturated environment.

How do these new filmmakers twist their storytelling techniques?
Cinema culture is no longer simply contained in black box movie theaters, it is woven into the fabric of our everyday. Veering from traditional storytelling, and all of the binding structures that come with it, creates a more capacious storytelling culture. 

With Sundance’s 30th anniversary, how have you seen Park City evolve over the years?
I’ve seen indie film culture floss large with lots of swag and cash in the early noughties, and the bust of the economy and the indie industry in 2009. At the moment there is an incredibly exciting rebirth of the movie business happening, and with it a revitalization of the role indie filmmaking is playing in cinema.

New Frontier runs at the Sundance Film Festival from January 17 through 25.

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