Archive for July 23, 2009

July 26th- Critical Mass Deadline Extended

From my earlier post:

This is one of my favorite competitions of the year!   Reviewers have the opportunity to take time with your work, see 10 images and read artists statements on their work.   Many of my favorite bodies of work I have first come to know through this competition.

I encourage all my readers to submit, and to enter 10 images that work well together as a group.  Don’t try to show that you have a broad skills set – rather, show us what you are working on in depth; give us a window on what you are exploring.  Captions are important to me, as is a series or project title.  We spend a lot of time reviewing the submissions, so edit and sequence as if it is an in-person presentation.  Take your writing seriously, too.  Many people will see it and for most it will be a “first impression” of you and your work.

Good luck!  I look forward to seeing your work.

From the website:

“What Is 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.

Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple- photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10 image portfolio for $75. This work then gets pre-screened by a committee of approximately 20-25 great jurors and from there, 175 top Finalists are determined. These top finalists then pay an additional submission fee and their work goes on to a jury of approximately 200 of the world’s best curators, editors, and professionals who have agreed to view and vote on these finalists. From these votes, two or three photographers receive book awards and once the monographs are published, everyone who enters and reviews will receive copies of the books.

We are pleased to continue to give scholarships to pre-selected photographers by geographical region. In 2007, we gave scholarships to Polish photographers, in 2008 it was Mexico. This year, the lucky country is Italy.

What to expect?

As an entrant to Critical Mass, you shouldn’t necessarily expect feedback from the jurors unless they want to contact you about doing something with your work. Reviewers are given the opportunity and encouraged to provide written feedback, but we can’t guarantee anything other than:

  • Everyone who enters will receive copies of each of the Book Award Winners.
  • Everyone who enters will receive a CD containing all of the submitted work.
  • Everyone who enters will have their work seen, and voted on, by the Pre-Screening committee.
  • Those who continue on in the top 175 Finalists will have their work seen, and voted on, by over 200 jurors.
  • Those who make the Top 50 will be given the opportunity to have their work in a Critical Mass Top 50 show at PCNW, curated by Andy Adams, editor/publisher of Flak Photo.

For details click here.

For the Photolucida blog with a list of reviewers click here.”

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“Making Books, 21st-Century Style: An Interview with Rick Smolan” on

This dialogue between designer/critic/author Steven Heller and photographer/publisher Rick Smolan was printed on the AIGA website 7/21/09:

Making Books, 21st-Century Style: An Interview with Rick Smolan

They discuss the recent publication that Rick and his wife and collaborator Jennifer Erwitt created:  The Obama Time Capsule, “a customizable documentary book that enables the user to be part of history.”  Heller continues:  “The implications for this project are profound.  Will it transform book publishing?  or is it simlyone in a series of digital novelties?  A veteran publisher and packager, Smolan talks about the impeturs for doing this book and the future as he sees it.”

The project is a collaboration with HP (utilizing HP Indigo digital presses) and is available exclusively at Amazon, with customization/fulfillment by RPI in Seattle.

The publication’s website’s opening ‘how to’ video is fantasic – a must see!

Amazing.  There was an interesting piece on PBS’ Newshour last week worth seeing/reading the transcript:  “Publishing Industry Confronts Changing Reader Habits.”

This dialogue to be continued…

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