From the PhotoLucida website:
“Critical Mass is an annual juried competition sponsored by Photolucida. It is a valuable addition to Photolucida’s popular in-person Portfolio Reviews, and offers an online submission and selection process. Critical Mass participants receive tremendous artistic exposure at a fraction of the cost of in-person reviews. 2007 is the fourth year of Critical Mass.
The aim of Critical Mass and all Photolucida programming is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging and mid-career artists working today.
As an entrant to Critical Mass, you should not expect feedback from the jurors unless they want to contact you about doing something with your work. Critical Mass is more about exposure than feedback.
Photolucida will publish monographs for 2 or more artists selected from the top-scoring finalists. All book awards are reserved for artists without a previously published monograph. Photographers with self-published books are still eligible for the book awards. If you already have a monograph, you still have 200 great reasons to participate in Critical Mass!
Critical Mass Book Award Winners 2006 – Camille Seaman, Donald Weber, Amy Stein
Critical Mass Book Award Winners 2005 – Hiroshi Wantanabe, Louie Palu, Julie Blackmon, Sage Sohier
Everyone who enters Critical Mass will receive the 2007 winners’ books! In addition, you will receive a CD-ROM with the work of all Critical Mass 2007 entrants’ work on it.
Critical Mass has a two-part submission process. First you pay a $50 registration fee to upload your images and text. We will then format your work and distribute the pages to the pre-screeners for scoring.
The pre-screening committee is comprised of the following people:
The Photolucida Board
Sean Corcoran, Curator of Photographs, Museum of the City of New York
Larry Davis, Founder/Director, Soho Photo
Roy Flukinger, Research Curator of Photography, Harry Ransom Center
Nelson Hancock, Founder/Director, Nelson Hancock Gallery
Chris Jones, Publisher, Cindercone Press
Horace Long, Exhibition Committee, Blue Sky Gallery
William Messer, Independent Curator
Claire Annette Mussard, Consultant
Brady Nichols, Independent Curator
Paul Pauletti, Director, Paul Pauletti Gallery
Rick Perez, Assistant Director, Stephen Cohen Gallery
P. Elaine Sharpe – Independent Curator
Tina Schelhorn, Director, Galerie Lichtblick
George Slade, Artistic Director, Minnesota Center for Photography
Martha Takayama – Tepper Takayama Fine Arts
Paula Tognarelli – Griffin Museum for Photography
If you are one of the top 150 photographers chosen by the pre-screeners, then you will pay an additional $250 fee and your work will be sent out to the full panel of 200 reviewers.
Like last year, this is a truly international group of jurors representing a wide variety of photographic interests. The list of jurors is now available – we have made a great effort to represent the range of professional affiliation (gallery owners, curators, publishers, editors, etc.) and expressed artistic preferences (documentary, conceptual, social landscape, portraiture, etc.). Jurors will be sent a CD-ROM of the photographers’ work, as well as a hard-copy thumbnail image index of all the artists with contact information. This serves as a good reference tool for a multitude of purposes. Critical Mass jurors are not allowed to submit their own work to Critical Mass.
Initial registration: $50
(If you are selected as one of the top 150 photographers):
200 reviewers: $250 more.”
As a Reviewer, I can tell you that I enjoy getting to know new work, or revisiting work I may have seen before, via this competition. I often refer to the materials we are provided and share them with others in the industry who are seeking new work by established or emerging artists. And how great to have the prizes be in the form of publication!
Visit the website to register online, read Critical Mass Success Stories and see the work of previous winners.