on the road with antoine d’agata….


Most of you seem to like the conversations I have with editors, curators, and photographers. Bill Hunt was our last conversation still up and Jim Estrin from the New York Times Lens Blog will be next. Following will be Susan Meiselas as curator/photographer and champion of the Magnum Foundation supporting photographers with serious projects no matter how affiliated. There will be surprise conversations along the way. As now.

Now I am literally on the road with Antoine D’Agata with whom, in the moment above depicted, am sharing both beer and vodka in our Motel 6 in Bismarck , North Dakota. We are part of Magnum’s Looking For America project. To be a major exhibition and book. Some of our colleagues at this very moment are in Rochester , New York doing Postcards From America which is a project within the larger America project. postcardsfromamerica.tumblr.com Yes, I am confused too. But no worries. Trust me, it will all come down in a good way and with our best work all coming together in print and on the wall.

So Antoine and I are headed for a story called (by me) BIG MEN LOOK FOR BIG OIL….In about an hour we will get into our lumbering camper van and head for a town with a lot of rich people who have no place to live. Hence the camper. Williston , N Dakota struck oil. The wild wild west. A bunch of men making a lot of money and sleeping in their cars. Williston was not ready for this boom boom boom.

My story will be sort of an interview with Antoine , who flew from Paris yesterday, and my own pictures from Williston. Or not. We joked last night , towards the end of a bottle of Grey Goose , how funny it would be if we never got out of this Motel 6. Did the story , a story, of a motel on the highway. However, I think we will move on. Curiosity.

Panos Skoulidas, from Burn comment section fame, and who started with Alec Soth and Jim Goldberg and Susan Meiselas on the original Postcards project which started in San Antonio is driving the van, helping me with computer stuff, and shooting video and doing his own record making.

The whole thing is crazy of course. In seven days I have to be in Australia for my Rio opening. Nobody in their right mind would be doing THIS now. Yes, exactly.

Well, come along with us. I will post some stuff here. Panos will too.
Check out the Magnum Tumblr (http://lookingforamerica2012.tumblr.com) for more and well one way or another we will bring you a story. Not sure what story but a story for sure.

Ask Antoine a question. Or any of us. If we do not answer right away, it will be an internet issue. Ok road trip about to happen. In pursuit of THE TRUTH.

Alec Soth may have said it best in an email to me. “North Dakota might not be ready for Antoine and you”.

Stay tuned.

170 Responses to “on the road with antoine d’agata….”

  • Salut Antoine,
    J’espère que tu auras ma question…

    When things get difficult, and you have no courage to keep on the task, no guts, no optimism, nothing but the need of shoting even if you don’t dare to go where the pictures are, how do you work it out? how do you carry on with all the insecurities and fears locking you?

    and another one, where can I have a workshop with you in Europe?

    You can reply in french if it’s more confortable for you.

    Germán Peraire.

  • David, Antoine And Panos:

    Thank you for answering questions! it all sounds like a train wreck….but it reaffirms my belief that there is something to be learned and that something good can come out of even seemingly negatives circumstances.

    Your answer to John is a lesson in itself.

    Wishing you guys a safe trip!

  • Yes Thank you all for taking time to answer our questions! Have a great day today – the weather looks like it will cooperate nicely – low 70’s but very high pollen. aAll that rain is now visiting me in Wisconsin!

  • david/panos/antoine:

    thanks for taking time to answer…as usual, i have to make it quick with a friends phone as still without web…appreciate the thoughts and answers…for me, it is always more interesting the process and the sharing, as insight into the life behind pictures and life behind assignments and work…what i cherish/value about the web…as for me, it’s always interesting that sometimes the life behind a story is even more interesting that the pictures themselves and then sometimes the most extraordinary pictures have a pretty prosaic, almost tideous life before that picture(s) was/were made…most importantly, it seems, is the bonding process between the 3 of y’all….cowboys all…

    btw, a movie ya’ll should watch (doc) is this…in may also help in framing some things


    anyway, be safe…enjoy….and celebrate….

    Danny Wilcox should have gone along for the ride :)))…

    be well guys

  • Curious about something.
    Did Antoine actually shoot during this event?

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Happy birthday MICHELLE…!!!

    Safe travels amigos…WE LOVE YOU ALLLLL….

    First of May…

    I am out there smelling the roses and the guns…Vivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • CARLO,
    Thank you very much!!!
    I’ll post more later plus preparing a tiny movie ..
    Tons of material, photos, video and Audio from recorder need to put together..

    Absolutely yes, Antoine did shoot a lot but he is very picky of what he likes to be published
    and what not, Antoine is not interested too much in technology therefore he didn’t worry too much
    about instant posting..
    Antoine has a different approach .. For example he never even heard the word
    Instagram before, or Facebook or twitters or instant posting etc..
    But absolutely he shoot a lot and is more into creating a movie of all that instead of photos..
    One thing for sure , you can’t rush him.. He has his own way of thinking and timing..
    He is a master after all…
    But in the actual book we wi all see his work..
    Antoine shot tons of video..
    Anticipation? Yes, yes but be patient !!!
    Big hug!
    DAH flying to Sydney in a bit , Antoine left for Paris and from there straight for his new “secret” assignment

  • Love the intro from Magnum:

    “Looking For America: Boomtown
    David Alan Harvey and Antoine D’Agata in the wild oil boomtowns of North Dakota with nothing but their cameras and an RV…What could go wrong?”

  • happy birthday, Michelle!

    Lol… What could go wrong???
    Ha ha… Having me around… Can’t get any worst than that..
    Big hug

  • I’m elated to announce that little Leica Patricia Peterson emerged into this world last night. Mama and baby are doing great (verdict still out on papa:)). Will link to some photos when I get a chance. Life is good. :)

  • And happy birthday Michelle. May 1st women rule (Leica just squeaked in at 12:29 am).

  • Happy Birthday to both Leica Patricia and Michelle!







    CONGRATULATIONS…..( to infinity )

    1st of May! Very symbolic day!
    And myself opening a wine bottle for you as I’m writing this!!!


  • Happy Birthday Michelle and Leica Patricia and congratulations Charles!

  • Charles…


  • Congratulations Charles!

  • WOW! congrats Charles!


    Looking forward to seeing the videos! I liked the one in the blog you posted.
    Interesting to read about Antoine shooting lots of video.

    welcome to this oh so crazy world…
    precious one….
    *Burning michelle*
    happy happy day!!

  • Congratulations Charles!

    Last minute packing (as usual!) before heading off tomorrow to Sydney for HeadOn! Looking forward to meeting David, Lisa, Imants and Sam in a couple of days! It’s going to be great to meet everyone face to face rather than via a Skype screen! :-) A Burn magazine Down Under gathering!

  • Charles and family…CONGRATULATIONS.

    Congrats for the new burnian baby in this world! And what a name…

    @ ROSS:
    Now is your turn to report from Australia!


  • Patricio; I’ll do my best! But no Iphone, Instagram etc…. I’m a bit of a Luddite ;-)

  • «Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.» – Oscar Wilde

  • Happy birthday MICHELLE.

    PANOS :)) Big Hug brother.

    CHARLES! Big, big congatulations! May Day, very cool.

  • Welcome to the world, little Leica.. happy birthday Michelle.. see you soon, Ross..

    David’s show at the ACP will gonna rock, so will Burn show and Bondi Pavilion.. and yesterday I bumped into Sam’s pic being unpacked at TAFE Institute:


    Sorry for bad reporting, but there’s just so many hours in a day.. and nights I don’t know what they are anymore.. off to the Pavilion for Burn show hanging..

  • Eva; it will be nice to finally meet you! I didn’t realise you’d be there too! :-)

  • Hey Harvey Keep Rockin’ Keep drilling down for the REAL story!


  • Charles…
    congrats to you and family… enjoy that special glow : ))

    Burnians Downunder…
    all i can say is, AT LAST : ))) looking forward to meeting some of the Burn Family… safe travels

  • federico agostini

    did you guys check Panos’ ND instagrams??? a-ma-zing!!!

  • new work by Steve Dupont and Rebecca Norris Webb (two of the EPF judges this year)

  • congratulations charles ……….

  • Sam; That Rebecca Norris Webb essay is amazing! :-)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    The Universe is expanding…our BURNIAN family is expandin !!!

    To the CHARLE’S family we wish the best…

    And hmmm…I am still waiting for the cake…MICHELLE …where is the cake?:)

    safe travels to ALL…

    we are going to rock down …Viva AUSSIES…!!!

    p.S Greece will change Europe…the time is now…6th of May…yeap,don’t change this channel..

  • Ok.. so we have a few pics from SYDNEY.. looking great everything:

    Panos prints: http://instagr.am/p/KHAvFksjKV/

    Burn in Print: http://instagr.am/p/KHGwNxsjMT/

    David’s show, tiny tiny part of it: http://instagr.am/p/KHFkAZsjL9/

  • Congratulations, Charles… looking forward to the pix!

  • A lot different than when I walked in yesterday the cupboard was bare

  • CIVI,

    please leave Athens intact, I’ll return on the 14th :)

  • Eva,

    Keep the reporting going!!!

  • wow eva!!!!!!!!!
    thanks for showing us the process….
    the colors of the prints look rich and lush..
    Have a magical time…..

  • Thank you Burnians! Will post a few pics when I get a chance. Thankfully had a point and shoot for the doula as “covering” the birth of your own is really next to impossible. She’s also not as much of a ham as Felix was (is!).

    Good luck to all those in Sydney! Will check Eva’s pics later.

  • Inspirational “quick break”:
    MESSI BREAKS WORLD RECORD ( most goals in one year )
    Record since 1974 hold till today by G.Muller ( Geemany )…
    watch the replay in espn3 free, although game still needs 10min to end,
    Messi already scored 3 times… Geez

  • G.Muller/Germany ( sorry for typos..)


    I’m working on a little “movie” as we speak trying to describe the “whole experience” in North Dakota..
    Stay tubes coz I might need some help on this one since its most probably will go straight to the magnum archives

  • Stay tuned… I meant to say, not tubes..
    Laughing.. Freaking iPhone ;)

  • federico agostini

    keeping fingers crossed, Panos!

  • Federico, i promised magnum office movie will be ready today… but i havent even started yet……….shhhhhhhhhhhhh….. i know nobody reads this….;)

  • the thing is that im trying to record my own music coz i dont want to licence any song..i need to write my own…so yeah sure…good luck with that…i (thought) i recorded a whole song…just one guitar and then i realized that i forgot to press the “record” button ON, on my recording thingy…
    anyway…we need to have fun First..thats the most important..
    Work can always wait ..
    unless you do what u love that in my case means…stop procrastinating..
    movie time soon:)

  • Well made it to Bondi. Went down to the Surf Pavillion to see if anyone was around. They gave me a quick look around; It’s looking good!!! :-) Hopefully catch up with everyone tommorow.

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