Bobby Davidson ( likes cutouts….representations… is not too hard to figure out what this Parson’s School of Design student is trying to say with the above created cardboard cutouts image….it pretty much says it all in our current landscape of everyone taking pictures of everything….does this symbolize the end of photography as we know it (or should i say knew it)??

not on your life…if young photographers do not see today/now/ this moment as offering them more than any previous generation’s wildest dreams, then they should just go back to bed….every generation has to re-invent something…whatever my generation had, they pretty much built themselves…it only looks now like perhaps it was handed to them, but alas life just ain’t like that…sure there are problems now and yes there were problems then…different problems,  but things needed to be revolutionized, changed, modified, re-worked, then as what is new??…

most problematic today is simply figuring out how to finance our passion….but, this will be done, this will be done….the smart ones, the positive thinkers, the doers, will figure it out…they already are….personally, i am so so pleased to just be able to lend a small helping hand to the next generation…what could be more worthy in life than the passing on of knowledge to the next in line??….leads to the big warm all around….give it away is what i say…please do it the first chance you get…this time may come sooner than you think….

Burn is almost one year old…a lot has happened since our original powwow in my loft just before Christmas last year….go back and search for the photos taken at the time….read what we were thinking…how we came up with our name, who said what to whom,  who took the lead, who gave the time , and who created this organism…who is the who? you is the who that’s who…

right now our repository of distributable content from Burn contributors would rival potential output of most medium sized agencies….young photographers have clearly chosen Burn as one of THE places they want to be published along with MediaStorm, 100 Eyes, NYT Lens blog, Aperture, Foto8 , PDN, Digital Journalist, etc etc…today’s online photo world is no longer a zero sum game….instead of competition it is co-opetition….like minded peer groups often supporting the other…an umbrella under which well meaning serious communicators in the arts and journalism can co-exist and thrive…it is about trust…it is about authenticity….this affirmation from the young generation gives me only one thing…a sense of responsibility….dammit, i have dug myself into a hole…i cannot quit now!

in the last few weeks i have been working to establish relationships with the established giants of the media as well as keeping things operating with stealth….for it will be stealth that will save us…the giants do not have stealth, but they know it when they see it….they may be welcoming partners after all….not necessarily out of altruism, but out of a combo of a sense of the right thing and practical production costs….we are in the right place at the right time , the right connections , the right content, and the ability to produce on demand…  a bridge to the future…..beyond those types of relationships, i have also now a grant writing team in place as well as other funding possibilities soon to be announced so that photographers published here receive a fee and commissioned work is well funded…both for the emerging and the established photographers…obviously my goal is to make the emerging, the established…and the established, keepers of the flame…

i may be asking a lot of you, but i surely plan to pay you back..with an on demand print magazine by the end of the year, with a possible Burn book imprint,  alternative gallery shows, $15k grant, international seminars, and with cold beer in my refrig for any of you who stop by…who doesn’t know that??

the other morning at 3am, i woke up out of a deep sleep and was wide awake instantly…sometimes, maybe always, my ideas come to me at the weirdest times and for no apparent reason…lightning bolt….always simple, nothing complicated, obvious, pretty straight forward ideas….i am not an intellectual, but i do think about things….esoteric and utilitarian concepts coming together….yes, a dreamer forever, but i do like to see product on the table so to speak…anyway, i woke up with an  idea and title for a new magazine(as if i needed more work! and Anton hates me for this!)….anyway, four hours after my “wake up call” we bought…

Circus …the online magazine for the REAL EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHERS…..

young photographers aged 15 and under…..not a kids magazine…the opposite….

an international magazine produced by the very young generation that would appeal to “adults” as well as to their own peer group..sophisticated…leading edge….

when you think about it for even a few seconds you can see it…killer…

yea, yea kids with cameras is nothing new….that is the point…we will  work with schools, aid organizations, inner city groups, NGO’s,  etc etc to create a child safe site and allow a real home for all this work which is being done worldwide….just as we know that the walls of grade schools are filled with great art , we know that the purity of the very young will manifest itself in something very very special….i will ask Burn photographers to help …with their ideas and with their time and with their curatorial efforts…so now i am digging a hole for you!! you can’t quit now…..told you.

with the combination of Burn and Circus we have nothing but interesting things to think about….and work to do….if you do not see it that way, i suggest you log off now….if you do stick around,  i plan to continue nurturing  this audience as much as i can…i can only do so many Skype calls in a day, or portfolio reviews in a day and your patience is appreciated… but, many of you know that i do give it a good try….

why would i do this?  simple…if i discover even one strong talent out of a thousand , then i will have done my bit…

if i can mentor one book, one show, one photographer who makes a mark, then all is well…and the work in progress nature of Burn allows all of us to see a cross section of what is being produced today…for better or worse…and the more good photographers who are inspired here, or developed here, will only lead to stronger content ,therefore making us more viable for support with each passing day…and Burn will pull Circus, and Circus will push Burn and, well,  you get it i am sure….smart crowd….

why i am writing this just before a 24 hr marathon flight is beyond me…avoiding packing and paying last minute bills could be a reason…not having written a Dialogue post in a long time could be another….or, more likely, i just have built up energy and it has come out somewhere…this is too damn long, but i do not have time to really edit…so this is raw… a contact sheet or whatever…please just remember the good parts…laughing.

oh by the way, remember the story from last july on my stray cat, now constant companion, Simone?

well,  Simone is pregnant…now what??

1526 Responses to “cutouts??”

  • Well…

    I have waited for idea like this. I was sure you will dig deeper for talents. where to search for talents if not between youths? I know you have strong teacher’s nature. Best teacher’s nature. Bravo for CMA for “Plato” name.
    Maybe I could help. Not sure now, but I have an idea. I have to ask some people. We’ll see.

    must run to work.

    peace and b wishes

  • Just for a moment, I want to reflect on the aspects of community…this one in particular.

    Formed in cyberspace, real friendships have blossomed in real time and real life. People care and encourage others to do their best. The words and thoughts of david & others who share the same passion inspire me (as I hope it does for many). I believe in the strength of friendship and community and I’ll step up to any task necessary in which to help make it work.

    I don’t know many other photographers nor do I fully understand why I do what I do…freakishly watching in wonder…colors, shapes, patterns…the dance of strangers in the streets as they flow through their lives unknowing that there is a moment where their alignment is sublime visual poetry…recently I poked my head out, sought a photo community and a way to further my education…I think I found something special…if not some great friends, stimulating conversations and sound advice.

    Good begets good, like crates like, When you give of yourself or help someone, without expectation of return, the sensation is pure joy…cynics would say otherwise but I’m not talking about altruism… everybody wins…do a favor…make a connection happen between strangers…help paint a friends house…do something to make someone happy…perpetuate joy and graciousness…

    I want something real and unabashedly wild…bold but not reckless…pushing boundaries…testing strengths and weaknesses. Even here, in cyberspace, there is beauty in the breakdown and not much is a waste of time…breakthrough will eventually follow if we allow ourselves to go for the ride.

    So, Break out the hippie school bus…turn up the music…I’ll be packing the bong in the back, making coffee and snacks for the drivers at 3AM…if the smoke ever clears maybe we will find ourselves in the middle of nowhere…but that’s the place I want to be… :~)

    My sincere thanks to d & this community for the ability to create and hold the space for each one of us to learn, ponder, create and inspire.

    Kidz and Kittens go well together…looking forward to seeing them nurtured.

    With great love and respect,

    ”be impeccable with your word…take nothing personally…make no assumptions…always do your best.”
    ~ The four agreements, Don Ruiz

  • Nice one David,
    inspiring from an early age, brilliant.
    I have just done a small talk and some photo projects with the local primary school (six year olds), man they are not scared of digi, they love it. Put together a couple of projects for them to work on, I went back a week later, amazing results stuck all over the classroom. The teacher was over the moon saying it was the best art thing they had done for ages, the ids loved it. In a few weeks I am taking them to a gallery opening of my work, to show them what you can progress to.


  • Congratulations on the pregnancy!

    If I could, as the day of birth approaches, I would hop on a plane and go down there and photograph the new kittens myself. My signature here links to my main blog, of course, but I keep another one – my very first venture in electronic publishing – and it is dedicated entirely to cats.

    You can find it here:

    And if you don’t think that a cat blog can ever intersect with serious issues, then click on the following link to find a 5 part series that tells the story of a cat in Chugiak, Alaska, as it helps a soldier’s mother get through the turmoil, loss, heartache and horrific challenge that the Iraq war brings to her. Keep in mind that the link is to the final post of the series, but that opens up to the previous four, whereas if I start you out on the first, it won’t open up to any of them:

    This brings me to another point that I want to make, and did to an extent in a comment to an earlier Burn piece. First, I love Burn and the purpose of Burn. What you are doing is great and I agree – I think that the future of photojournalism is going to be fantastic and I stand amazed at what I see young photographer’s doing. If, as you suggest, some of the young look backwards with envy toward the halcyon days of photojournalism that have now slipped away, it is the opposite with me – I look forward with envy, and wonder why the hell the technologies that are developing now could not have coincided with my 20’s, rather than my latter 50’s, soon to give way to 60’s.

    As a “senior” (God, I hate to use that word in relation to myself) shooter, I continue to feel all the drive and desire to forge forward as a photographer (and a writer) that I did when I was in my 20’s. As I have for over 35 years now, I wake up each day feeling that I have yet to but am still bound to “emerge,” – yet I cannot in any way jump into Burn with the emerging photographers. As far short of my goals as I have fallen, I have done too many things for that. Very early in my career, I published a three-part spread of words and photos in National Geographic, I have done books, have been named a W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund first-runner up, but mostly I have devoted my career to producing and creating one-man photojournalistic publications that have been dedicated to covering American Indian and Alaska Native Eskimo, Indian and Aleut peoples and issues.

    These have been great fun to do, but they have also been small circulation works with inadequate funding for me to ever fully reach the visions that I had for them.

    And now I see all this new technology made just for the lone wolf such as myself and I just want to jump in and go, go, go!

    I do not want to fool with paper anymore. My past ways of working no longer hold any interest to me. And I am clawing at the digital rocks, trying to figure out how to scale them, how to make this new technology work for me. So far, though I have yet to even come close to doing with them what I envision, I have had a lot of fun with my two blogs, yet each minute that I put into them is a minute removed from making a living – a task that I have never excelled at, although I have long survived as a freelancer.

    Now, whenever I turn myself to the task of making a living, I feel that I am wasting my time. Hence, the tasks necessary for my survival take me ten times as long to complete as they once did – and that in turn makes it all the harder to make a living.

    So, I kind of wish a savvy person like yourself would make a make a magazine called something like “Burn-ed out, never – an evolving journal for driven old fart photographers.”

    But no one is going to do that. So, though it seems I only flounder now, I am going to figure it out, on my own, because as a photographer/writer/one-man publishing house, this technology was created for me, more than for anyone else that I know, young or old.

    As I struggle to figure it out, I will be a big fan and student of Burn, both to watch with excitement as your photographers emerge and to study, to see what I can learn from you and them in order to further my own aspirations.

    I suppose I have detoured from the purpose of comments, but its what I felt and thought as I went through this post, so there you have it.

  • It’s all those stray toms you have been letting in…….

  • I am sure circus will work and work well ……. the young love to do lose the plot and do do do do……. eventually burn will look pedestrian gotta luv it

  • Simone?
    Ahhhhhhhhhhh life in the beach…:)))))))))))


    exactly…Burn will look pedestrian compared to Circus….the whole point….everybody needs to loosen up, shed the layers, and work with childlike wonder and naivete …nobody does it better than a child, but the rest of us can at least pretend to pretend….oh yea, shhhhhhh, i think Simone might have gotten pregnant by her own brother down the street….scandal is everywhere…


    great thoughts…many thanks…going to sleep (for an hour…i can sleep on the plane..sure, sure)

    big hug, david

  • ALL…

    off to the airport in a few hours for the longest damn flight i have had recently, 25 hrs to BKK…hey, this is where print still rules (temporarily)…back pack full of mags and books….long flight, lots to read…no communication from me for a couple of days….back soonest…

    cheers, david


    that cat with Charlie in the first picture really looks just like Simone, including the collar color..hmmmm….i take your words to heart….the struggle..survival…however, i am sure you agree it is 90% psychological…if you get yourself on a personal project that just soaks up all your time, something good will come out of it…i am struggling along with everyone else, but somehow it feels good to me…in the sense that i know something will happen…get invented…patient revived…it will not be like what it was, but it will be something…. survival tactics breed invention and cunning….write me a private email, and i will answer with some thoughts…

    cheers, david

  • Would love to offer my help for circusmag.



  • Dear David,
    I hope your flight went well and you reached BKK nice and easy.
    I love your idea of Circusmag.
    If you want, I am involved in some mentoring of young kids from difficult backgrounds here in London. The institution they are referring to is, a production company that involves young kids in all sorts of things, from photography to journalism, TV series, music and fashion. They have been so successful that the British government is now relying on them for a number of projects that deal with human right and climate change, so that they are now producing this magazine called “Control Alt Shift”, about these issues.
    I think that it could be a fantastic and unique opportunity for them to be linked with CIRCUSmag, publish their work or simply to know that you, Anton and CIRCUS could have yet another home here in London. Couch, beer and more is also available here!

    Please do consider me available to help you in this.

    All the best and thanks for the amazing work you guys are doing.

    By The way, I wanted to say one thing about BURN.
    The strength of burn is not only the showcase of thrilling works, but in my opinion is more about the unique format of such publication, in the sense that it offers a real platform for exchange of views that help each photographer to improve his/her work through the constant confrontation of ideas and input from the participants.
    Burn to me it’s a constant source of inspiration, a never-ending seminar, a non stopping workshop, a million and one pages book, a window to the world and finally a beautiful group of new friends.


  • Sigh. Burn is not fully formed, you plan to start another online rag, and you are constantly flying everywhere in the world. It reminds me of the punchline of an old joke that goes something like, “he jumped on the camel and shot off in all directions.”

    Seriously, David, your heart is getting way ahead of your head.

  • Well, good idea, but I have to agree with Jim here.

  • DAH…
    I taught photography—mostly pinhole and photograms—to kids at an elementary school, a few years back. If there is anything I can help with long distance, let me know.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I Am in tears…

    Today I want to kiss and hug MR.HARVEY and ANTON and ALL of you …

    “Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: “I’m with you kid. Let’s go.””
    Maya Angelou

    LET’S GO BURNIANS and do the CIRCLE of LOVE (The Latin word circus comes from the Greek word kirkos, meaning “circle” or “ring”)

    Time to face our fears… clowns maybe…???

    P.S Simone no more…what about Jocasta and Oedipus …oime …
    CIRCUS OF BURN …WE are a Circle of LOVE

  • a civilian-mass audience

    and I will agree with some BURNIANS…

    MR.HARVEY and others around the Universe…don’t forget to take your aspirins and vitamins…
    try to eat organic…hmmm… everything in moderation ( vigorous intercourse excluded )

    and please…conserve some energy…together we can do great things (…included…hihihi)

  • a civilian-mass audience


    smile , you are behind the camera :)))

  • The world goes around because there’s some people not having their hearts in the same place as their heads and still manage to stay positive…

    off topic: lists you, DAH, as artist, and you, Michael Loyd Young, as photographer when searching for the book, and only DAH when sold:

    1 “Blues Booze & BBQ”
    David Alan Harvey; Gebundene Ausgabe; EUR 24,98

    Kinda weird…

  • Oh boy, here we go… Nothing like a good adventure. I’m speaking to groups of middle schoolers in December. I did this last year and I had a great time. Anything you want me to pass on to them David?

  • This whole circus magazine thing is just an incomprehensibly sad diversion. The web is seductive. It’s easy to get a domain name and put up a web page. With Burn having so far to go, and with Harvey and Anton’s extremely limited time to do it, and the continuing struggle to fund it, creating yet another web mag seems bizarre and a bit irresponsible.

  • DAH, interesting …

    Hmmmm … I am paying for the education of some kids through organizations. For a little boy called Wellington in South Brazil for example. It keeps him and the others off the streets, provides good meals and basic education. But that is it. There is often no real perspective … It is only an additional chance I can give them – something they might not have gotten under their “normal” conditions. A chance they might, or might not use to find a better place in life. I keep telling myself that a chance is sometimes all someone needs. But to be realisitc, the odds really are not good. So …

    I could imagine going there to introduce and nurture this project. Not only to “my” kids, but to their whole classes – this might be another chance one or two of them could grab. Trouble is, it is not my backyard …
    I will think about this, talk with some people and get back to you.

  • Hello all,
    Just wondering if anyone will be attending Paris Photo this year? If anyone is up for it, how about meeting for a drink and a post-Paris Photo discussion in a bar or cafe. It starts this Thursday in the Carrousel du Louvre.

    take care
    D. Bacher

  • Hi David,
    contact Audrey. She said she would try to make it.
    I wanted to, too … But too much on my table right now … Guess you know why :-)
    Cheers and pls show us some pictures.

  • Hi David Bacher and all,

    I’ll be at Paris Photo on Thursday, maybe on Friday too… I registered in this (free!) workshop
    I’ll be happy to meet you all, please contact me tel: 06 61 12 21 32 or

    Lassal, I’ll not forget :)))

  • DAH…

    you never stop surprising do you : )

    after a couple of weeks off-line i check back here to see what’s been happening and read your post…

    shades of Dr Seuss ‘who is the who? you is the who that’s who…’ which is the perfect tone with circus in mind…

    at the very end of december (31st) Uma will turn 10, she will be getting her first camera, although she does not know anything about it, yet… she’s been nagging us all year for a camera… she used to love playing with my old digi point & shoot some 5 years ago (until it died) and even then, at that young age i got excited from her perspective on her world. but now she is old enough to be responsible for her own camera and storage space…

    circus sounds like a very clever and wonderful idea to me. on a few levels…

    digging myself into one of your holes, (funny, i’ve spent the day digging holes today, for garden beds and big rocks and caravan tyres…) i would love to somehow be involved in this, perhaps help curate, maybe try something with the school kids in my area, dunno… in the new year i will at last be free of many of my migration related burdens of the past two years, i have many plans and ideas, i am excited to have more time, more time for my family, more time for my photography, more time for my veggie garden… perhaps this is something else for my time… if i can help in anyway…

    as Picasso said ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist …’

    and as you said ‘when you think about it for even a few seconds you can see it…killer…’ –

    and as they say downunder ‘good on ya!’


  • CIRCUS is perfect!

    DAH – I don’t know if you saw this when I posted it the first time around, but the morning I woke from this dream I knew it was one of those dreams that is more than a dream:

    October 20, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I couldn’t wake up this morning because I was deep in a dream, we were all at the loft, there was another burn gallery opening and sales were happening, we actually had sort of a print on demand service going on with a curated selection of available prints which we kept the files for instead of prints..and then later we had a workshop, with kids there and a team of us made a hands on mm piece with them..there was a dog too David, I hope you don’t mind I let the little ones and a dog in, I held the dog the whole time.

    LET”s GO

  • Woody Alan quotes Groucho Marx in Annie Hall with a joke I have always felt embodied my arbitrary ideals …
    “I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member.”

    Well, I can finally put that rib-tickler to rest … Burn is the future; this is history … dissemination, nurturing, support, criticisms, collectivism and individualism … Modern-post-modern my ass the new term is BURN.

    Keep it up David and remember Burn has a friend named Vasilios in New York …


  • A bit off topic, but then maybe not.

    The 6:30 mark of the video most certainly caught my attention.

    It is still about getting what is in the mind’s eye out into the real (and I guess, the virtual) world. But changes in technology, the speed at which they change and the ‘oh my god’ factor are astounding.


  • Just the legal aspects of kids and their photos, rights, parents permissions sound daunting.

  • Multiply that with the laws in the various countries. Forums would have to be heavily moderated. Sounds like a legal landmine to me.

  • Multiply that with the laws in the various countries governing children. Forums would have to be heavily moderated. Sounds like a legal landmine to me.

  • Don’t know why the double post.

  • Jim, it must be that double dose of pessimism is getting to the system:-)

  • Audrey,
    I’m not sure if I’m going to Paris Photo Thursday or Friday. In any case I’ll give you a call on your cell phone and we can try and meet up.

    a bientot

  • Only those who tried, know if it worked out.
    DAH, I like this idea of circus and it is quite unique. Certainly there are some issues, but they are with everything.
    I hope your flight goes well and you enjoy it.

  • idea of circus and it is quite unique….. probably not that unique there are heaps of sites the youth use create and access. Direct adult control on what is good/important etc many will not participate, I wouldn’t post if I was a kid….. fuck the old codgers ………………………that is anyone over 20

  • I have a bunch of keen multimedia 15 year olds today I will pass the idea of the site by them…………..

  • ………….if there is money involved well the goal posts change…..grin

  • ………….if there is money involved well the goal posts change…..grin

    Yes, particularly if we initiate a charge per post formula to raise funds.

  • BTW Imants,

    Is there a way to see what these keen multimedia 15 year olds are producing?

  • Government run institution so I am reluctant to show

  • I didn’t start taking pictures until I was past 30. Hopefully Circus can inspire kids enough to avoid making the same mistake. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

  • Just wait until a parent sues because little Bobby posted photos of his friends on the Internet without their permission. Harvey, this is a really bad idea.

  • I think I was 6 years old and nearly ran my grandmother into the poor house buying polaroid film so I could document everything. Around age 12 I had an amazing art teacher who got permission to turn a janitor’s closet into a darkroom for me. A real life hero to a kid…

  • Jim, with all due respect (given your publishing background), do you really think this is a show stopper? Unless the images are used commercially, is there much of a legal argument? I’m sure DAH & Anton will take any necessary precautions with releases, etc.

    If publishing photos of under-18 kids on the internet without parental consent is such a hot button, why aren’t Facebook and MySpace sued out of existence?

  • kids under 13 can’t participate in forums and contribute to sites anyway until a parent has given consent…operators who have sites whose focus involves children take care of this before the kid posts…so it seems pretty straightforward to me that provisions will be made to ensure the content is released too if it needs to be. of course i don’t know the all the legalities involved, but bottom line is that David and Anton will.

  • Facebook and Myspace are very different. Websites that cater specifically to children have legal requirements, such as parental consent and privacy issues that go beyond those of general websites. When children are involved, there is a very real legal argument. If you are under 13, by the way, you cannot use Facebook.

  • Actually, Erica, David seems to not even think of the legal implications of all of this until someone points them out to him.

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