A Pilgrimage in Search of Robert Frank's Americans

Jonathan P Day

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The extensive contemporary discussions around online platforms have revolutionised our understanding of photographic destinations. In its great variety?between semi professional showcase platforms such as Flickr, through social media sharing ostensibly for fun, to personally tailored and curtailed sharing sites such as Snapchat, photography has been radicalised by these technological developments. One of the predilections of the internet is the anonymising and occluding of authorship. Anonymous photography is in itself hugely interesting, but for now let?s restrict ourselves and assume that we still have an interest in the notion of authorship. Is there a place for the notion of the ?artist? in online sharing and photography? If the internet is a mass of neo-anonymous output, structured and re-structured constantly by algorithmic operations, as the gallery and archive retrench and become increasingly defensive and exclusive in increasingly desperate attempts at life-boating themselves, is there now a place for the power of the artist? It seems to me that such a place has existed since the early 20th century and is experiencing an enormous resurgence at the moment, exactly because of digital technology and the internet. It is not without problems of its own, certainly, but it offers the possibility of independence, of longevity, a curated statement and of being signally identified as the author of the works contained, with all the notions of ?career? that accompanies. It is the book.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTake on Photography
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2016


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