4.20 / From the Archives: Photo-Sensitive

July 9 2013


July 9, 2013. Photography is 175 years young. Throughout its lifetime, its uses and perceptions have shifted radically from novelty to ubiquity and from scientific tool to fine art medium. Not only has photography changed how we see the world with the naked eye, it has ensured that we always see with perceptive vision. People are more observant, more discerning of those decisive moments when one might want or need to stop and look, commit a sight to memory, whether mentally or digitally, as is now often the case. Given San Francisco’s historic role in the professionalization of the medium—in 1945 Ansel Adams and Minor White established the country’s first fine art photography department at the San Francisco Art Institute, then known as the California School of Fine Arts —it seems fitting to curate a photography-centric issue. "Photo-Sensitive" brings together some of Art Practical’s best writing on photography: profiles of Zoe Strauss and Tammy Rae Carland, an interview with Edward Burtynsky, the U.S. premiere of a photo-performance by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and reviews of some of the most important and interesting photography exhibitions the Bay Area has seen in the last few years. In his interview with Daily Serving, Burtynsky reminds us that artists, “have the power to raise questions about the world that we are creating,” and that “t’s inherent in the creative arts to reflect where we are going in a way that perhaps has not been thought of before.” The pieces collected here attests to the particular power of photography to do just that.—crystal am nelson


Art Practical has invited its regular writers to guest edit thematic issues of content from our archive this summer as we prepare for the launch of our new website in September. These issues highlight the breadth of subjects we've covered over the past four years and some of the notable interests that catalyze artistic practice in the Bay Area. And here's a sneak peak of what is coming up for Art Practical. 


Interview with Edward Burtynsky

Interview with Edward Burtynsky

By Daily Serving

In my heart, I feel that as artists we can hold a mirror up to society and help reflect exactly what we are doing and what type of world we are creating. All types of artists have the ability to take on this task.

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No Portraits

No Portraits

By Guillermo Gómez-Peña

For more than thirty years, I’ve been obsessed with photographic documentation of my performance work in dialogue with history. As a self-defined Chicano, I need to be in control of my image.

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