Semester Long Reading - The Photograph as Contemporary Art

Over the courses of Arts 3361 we will be reading the essays from The Photograph as Contemporary Art.  I will put a post on the website for each chapter that you are required to write a 200 word minimum response to that includes the following topics in some order.  

Which essay from the assigned chapter spoke to your own experience the most?  Summarize the main points of the essay and give a personal anecdote that elaborates on why this article spoke to you the most. Which essay made you think about photography in a new way, or spoke to experiences you may not have been as familiar with?  Again, summarize the article and explain why this essay has reshaped your ideas about photography.  

For an assigned date each semester, you will be required to present your topics to the class for a 10 minute presentation.  You may elaborate on the themes you discussed in your essay and include pictures to be shown to the class.  You must however present on essays included in the chapter that you are listed under.

(times subject to change)


  1. Chapter one reading had a variety of many different inspirations that spoke to me. I really enjoyed #13: To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond. This photo spoke to me because it reminded me of the water that I used to swim in when I lived overseas around sunset time, or as like my mother likes to call it, the "Golden Hour". The point that I enjoyed most about the essay that explained this photo was that a lot of how individuals wanted to express themselves was banned. Living here in the United States, we tend to forget how lucky we are and how we are for the most part always able to express ourselves, or at least I tend to forget. The positioning of the men, young to older, and the expressions that are fixed onto their faces reflect for a lack of a better term, a poker face. They do not look miserable, but they seem bored. The performance aspect of the piece of art is very successful in creating a general mood of: "Blah". And I really like that. The second photo that reached out to me on a personal level was #34: Van Gough's Back. This piece spoke to me because, I'm super weird, my freshman year here at Tarleton when I would come home from the bar, I would get into the shower and as I washed my hair to get the smell of stale cigs out...I would then put my hair that came out onto the shower wall and begin to draw designs with it. I completely took advantage of the dorms in that the hot water would never truly run out like it did back home. So, when I saw this piece, it took me back all the way to freshman year and it sparked a sense of comfort in myself. Like I said before, I'm weird.

  2. Chapter 1 reading had many essays and pictures that caught my attention. I really enjoyed #38: Anabiosis. This picture reminded me of my childhood living in Tennessee, and how brutally cold our winters were. I remember my mom wrapping me up in so many winter clothes I could barely walk. In the essay its mentioned that the fisherman don't even look like human figures. "They seem to be cocooned in their own state of suspended animation"(Chernysheva). It shows how far these fisherman will go just to put food on their table while I'm sure some of them have families relying on their support. I remember that cold brisk wind and snow blowing in my face seeking through all my heavy jackets. It was an unpleasant feeling having your feet go numb from it being so cold. Another essay and photo I really caught interest in was #39: Untitled. This photo reminds me of my high school days of sneaking out of my back window late at night to go out. My parents had me on tight schedule and wouldn't let me go out past eleven so I would sneak out of my bedroom window, but got caught many times.The story behind the picture is the Virgin Mary was sighted at that window. So people come from everywhere in the world to touch the window. Really neat stuff.