Big Al – Conversation

Alec Soth photographed in San Antonio , Texas by Panos Skoulidas , April 6, 2011


On Apr 6, 2011, at 3:04 PM, David Alan Harvey wrote: 

many thanks for the transcribe anna…pictures? d


On 4/6/11 2:49 PM, anna maria barry-jester wrote:

Here you go…
There seems to be a little missing in the middle of the interview…I think a sentence cut off between clips you sent me…you should be able to fill it in very easily from the original file….I noted in bold where I think something is missing below.

Here’s the transcript of the Soth interview….this is unedited…this is a FOR REAL CONVERSATION

DAH – Alec Soth Interview

Nat sound (ringing)

DAH: Let me start with the most recent thing that I found out about, and that is Big Al’s printing. The thing that’s always fascinated me about you, other than your photography which of course is how I knew you in the beginning, is your versatility. I mean I knew your work only with Mississippi of course, Sleeping by the Mississippi, before having met you in person. And then very quickly you became a very popular blog person and you’re involved in a lot of stuff- soft industries as I like to call it. And then we’ve got Big Al’s printing. Tell me about this multiplicity of ventures for you, besides your photography.

ALEC SOTH: Well first of all, I mean, I’m talking to you from Minnesota, and I have this sort of midwestern sensibility in which I think everything is always going to come to an end, and I’m gonna fail. And I feel a need for job security. So the most secure thing has been diversifying everything so I don’t have all my eggs in one basket. So that’s where Big Al’s comes in. But I’ll tell you what led up to that is that I was in Alex Majoli’s place in Italy, and he’s got this set up where he’s got a studio, and then there’s this Chesura lab, which is this group of people that use his equipment, but have their own little printing operation as well as all sorts of other stuff that they do. And I thought that was really fantastic, and so I came back home, and I thought, this has always been an issue, where we have all of this stuff, all of this equipment, um, but it just sits there a lot of the time when I’m not using it, so it just seemed like it makes sense. I mean, the people who work for me use it, but why not have them expand that and let other people, charge other people to use it, you know, make a little bit of money. But also there’s this one guy, his name’s Eric, who wanted to do some work with me or whatever, so he can run that thing, it’s not really my business, I’m not that involved with it, a little bit involved with it, but it just made sense. But I’m not like Mr. entrepreneur, you know.

DAH : Well, you’ve definitely diversified, and of course I’m going to copy you on every single thing. Of course I’ve hated every minute of copying you.

ALEC: But that’s what it is, I’m copying Alex. (laughter)

DAH: I know, I know, he’s got an empire there. But it’s a very interesting model for all of us. So you’re main person I guess who was your printer for your shows ended up sort of creating his business through Big Al’s operation.

ALEC: …A little bit, we had a printer that worked up to a certain size, and then we had to outsource a bigger size. and so, at a certain point, it’s just like “I’m going to buy that printer, it doesn’t make any more sense.” But if i’m going to buy the printer we might as well use it, you know, that kind of stuff.
But the thing is, it was being exposed to Majoli’s way of doing things, which isn’t for me, I mean, I’m not gonna have…it’s like a commune out there. You know, they’re all sleeping in rooms above the studio, I don’t want to do that. I just want to pool our resources. I mean, that’s what it’s about, and when you talk about Magnum, that’s what it’s about. It’s pooling resources.

DAH: Right, is that the modus operandi for Little Brown Mushroom as well, is that the same kind of thing?

ALEC: That’s a little bit different. I mean, Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun. So, and, Big Al’s is, well, who knows what it is, it’s about we’ve got some equipment lets use it. Little Brown Mushroom is about having fun, and making cool things. And it’s not about the art world, it’s not about getting caught up in that, it’s not about trying to make money, and if it makes money fine, if not that’s ok, you know, I just want to break even ideally. But it’s about that spirit of when you’re a teenager and you’re just making stuff because you love it. It’s just remembering that feeling you know. When you get caught up in the professionalism of everything, you can forget about it.

DAH: Oh yeah, it ruins everything, right?

ALEC: Well, it’s a danger, and that’s what I would say about the blog. You know, I started the blog as a retreat from the art world, as a place to just talk about issues, and then all of a sudden it turned into another business, and so I dropped it. Little Brown Mushroom hasn’t yet, it’s still, it’s like we’re just having a lot of fun with it.

DAH: Yeah, it looks like it. Yeah, it’s great. Who did the design work, did you do that or did you have a designer do that?

ALEC: It started off, I mean, I don’t know anything about design. You know, I don’t know cmyk from… I’m an RGB, photoshop, that’s all I know. But I wanted to make little things, so I just started making little zines. you know, the kind of thing where you go to Kinkos, you know, staple-bound little things. And then one thing led to another and I met a designer named Hans Sieger, who lives in Wisconsin, and uh, it all kind of came together in my head. Little Golden Books was something I was interested in, do you remember those children books? They were published out of Wisconsin, and it just felt like something that was meant to be. And so here’s this really cool designer, who happens to live there, you know, he does most of his work in New York, really high end, but he lives in Wisconsin. And here’s Little Golden Books, and merging these ideas. And he works unpaid, he just works just for the fun of it too, he’s just into it, and so we collaborate on it, we print it in Wisconsin which is great. It’s a little cottage industry.

DAH: Yeah, well, that really is cool. That’s interesting. You say that you’re, that this was one of the things, Big Al’s, and then just your mentality in general is kind of a midwestern job security thing, which you know, I understand that. And the other thing is just to have fun and a little bit of an escape from the art world. On the other hand, you’ve busted your ass to make it in the art world. So is it just because…you don’t really want to escape the art world do you? I mean, isn’t that your mainstay?

ALEC: Yeah, that’s how i make a living. Um, it’s not that I want to escape the art world, but I have to keep it fresh, and it’s kind of like, uh, to use a music analogy, it’s like. Ok. Maybe I’m not playing arenas now, but I’m playing big venues. And sometimes you have to just go down to the club, and just play, and play some new stuff for a real audience. That’s what I mean, it’s just like keeping it fresh, you know, and also keeping the experimentalism alive so that you can try things. So maybe you can screw up at the little club with 30 people, it’s not that big of a deal.

DAH: Yeah, everybody loves the garage band. The garage band stage of anybody’s career is THE stage.

ALEC: Absolutely, right. Its just keeping some of that alive is all.

DAH: I understand that completely. That’s a pretty good analogy.

ALEC: You know, I want to play arenas, I mean, don’t get me wrong I want the big audience still, I just want to keep it fresh.

DAH: Now, you’re in the art world, you’re selling prints, you played the arenas so to speak. At the same time, you’re doing some editorial work. That certainly isn’t for the money, that editorial work. So is that just part of the fun thing? Or keeping yourself fresh? Or where does that come in? That’s more of the, why would you be in Magnum in the first place since you’re so successful in the art world?

ALEC: (audio missing between clips???) one iota. And if you think about what that collective artist could be, it’s gigantic. The thing is, I started big al’s last week, and I email some people or whatever and it goes around the little blogosphere. But I ask Magnum to put it on their facebook, and to do a tweet about it, and that’s a lot of people. And, we can access just a much larger audience as a group.

DAH: So distribution is still important, it’s just a different kind of distribution. It’s a twitter, facebook fanclub thing. Plus we bring our own audiences in there too.

ALEC: Yeah, absolutely. And bringing our own audiences into that is something that we haven’t really done, or figured out how to do. Um, but we’re working towards it.

DAH: Yeah, well, that’s what you and I are supposed to do. We’re on the committee. I’m a little bit out of the loop. I saw the note from Jonas this morning, but it’s the first time I’ve heard from him, so. There are a lot of reasons for that. I do wish we were a little more coordinated with those kinds of ideas and thinking, cause I think that if we actually really did get you and jonas and chris and I in the same room, even for a short time, we might be able to come up with a bunch of good ideas that could push us forward. Unfortunately we don’t really have the mechanism for that because we’re all out in different places all the time. That’s the bad part about Magnum. The good part is that when we’re together there’s magic often times. But then we go off in separate directions, it’s very hard for us to stay coordinated.

ALEC: For me, I mean, and I talked about this, I don’t know what’s
(rambling about what part of this conversation will be used)

ALEC: This is a real taboo, but it’s something I wanted to talk about…it’s the club element of it. And I hate the word club, but, I think it’s a significant part of what it is for people. You have this brand, you’re attached to this thing, and these other people, and I think so much of the business stuff, which actually doesn’t work, just gets in the way of all that.

ALEC: The retreat was really successful. And it was like, wow.

DAH: Well, I can see, I mean I couldn’t even be there but I was all over that psychologically from the very beginning because I thought, if I can have the Magnum crowd down here like where I’m sitting right now. I mean, I’ve got dunes, I’ve got water, and I’ve got a great front porch. I’ll just show you (sounds of david picking up computer and walking away). This is where I want to hang out with you guys. I’d like to invite a bunch of you down here, you know (sound of creeky screen door opening), and uh sit on my porch right, and look out at the sand dunes over there.
(sound too faint to hear). I would love it if you guys were sitting down here by the fire, and it would be a great meeting of the minds. The truth is that when I do meet Magnum photographers, like one on one, and on assignment, we really do have a lot of good stuff in common, and I’m sure you found that out on the retreat.

ALEC: The business stuff comes out of it too. I mean, like I said, just going to Majoli’s place, suddenly Al’s opens up 3 weeks later just from that experience. And it’s that kind of pooling of resources, which we don’t even have time for, and that’s how the retreat came about is my frustration that the AGM (??), at least for the younger generation, cause we used to not have to be involved, and now we have to be involved, and it’s just ruined it, where we don’t get to hang out.

DAH: It’s a slug, you never get to go out and just have a beer, and somehow you don’t even end up talking about the business stuff. You end up getting into spreadsheets instead of the business, and there’s a difference. Now listen, I know you have to go, and I think we probably have enough…
…wait, but I have to show you my window, just to see where you don’t want to visit. Let’s see if we can get the exposure right (laughing).

ALEC: I have this feeling that Magnum’s just going to turn into BURN.

DAH; No! I don’t mean…

ALEC: No, I mean it in a good way.

DAH: No, to be honest with you, what I really really want to do is probably quit burn in June, or have it evolve into something else, or have somebody else run it or,

ALEC: I know what you mean, but it’s just that the spirit of it, it’s just like funding Paolo’s thing..No, but it’s just like, that’s the kind of energy that we so badly need.

DAH: I know it, but the thing is what I don’t want to do, and I’m sure that you of all people can totally appreciate this, I don’t want to get so involved in minutia and local politics that it just burns up all of the energy. There’s x amount of stuff that we’ve all gotta do in our lives, we’ve all gotta pay taxes, you need to get your kids off to school, you need to fix the garage door. We’ve already got lots of stuff. And I can’t take on a whole other thing with Magnum beyond a certain point. Anyway, many thanks amigo..

Postcards from America

Little Brown Mushroom

Big Al’s

Alec Soth


423 Responses to “Big Al – Conversation”

  • Patricio; No problems! :-) If you want to Skype my name is “rossnolly”


    I think your ‘Mothers and Daughters’ show is a great idea…
    While I do a fair amount of informal portraiture, I’ve never specialized in Mothers and Daughters, but you have given me the impetus to think about that.
    Here are two that I do have (both shot in Vancouver):

    I also appreciate your hands-on report on the Fuji X100… I have been needing a serious but small, lightweight, and unobtrusive ‘walking around’ camera for a long time, and I have been waiting in hopes that the X100 would be the camera of my earnest longings.. from your description and others I’ve read I understand its merits, but given the price tag, the interface, the size and weight, and the limitation of a single focal length (admittedly the single most useful one, but still..) I have decided against it for now… not that there is anything better on the market at the moment… it’s clearly going in the right direction, but I think I will wait until the second or third improved generation before springing for the “poor man’s Leica.”


  • Paul:

    There was a link to an image here several months ago of a group of dancers with a flash at, or near, the floor, pointing upward into their faces and bodies. The result was pretty cool.

    Have you considered strapping a flash to the crutch? That way it would be off-camera, and if it was located below the hand grip, it might give a similar dramatic effect. Also, if you can swing the crutch up for a moment, you could get the normal effect…and you’d be out-tethering everyone else there. :)

    It would only work if you were at the front of the processional crowd; judging from the YouTubes you showed, that may be impossible. But it might be worth a think. Either way, all the best on Thursday!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Amsterdam…ah, Van Gogh,the Canals,the Delta works…coffeshops with weed menu…Heineken next to the Amstel river…BURNIANS in Amsterdam…Be ready …BURN van is on the way!!!!!!!!

    I will second SIDNEY…always my pleasure to second SIDNEY !!!

    AUDREY,ROSA…coffee and egg whites on me, come over…civilian’s house is full but there is always
    room for more!!!

    P.S…EVA…something about WinePhoto…you are Italian…you know better!


  • Civi…

    you mean WINEPHOTO 2011?? Everyone knows.. or do they not???

    Deadline: June 30th, 2011

    And of course everyone knows that the EPF deadline is approaching fast, May 1st, 2011.. to be found here:


  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA…you make it Official…
    don’t we love our Italians…EVA,LAURA,ORLANDO,FEDERICO,the violinist photographer…!

    and yes…our EPF…tick,tock…we are almost there…SUBMIT now!
    EPF=Energy,Photography,Fire or Eximious,Parlous,fulgorous !!!

  • Went out after finishing at the hospital and found the Easter processions out on the street again. Great way to practice before Thursday…I was trying out my strobes and I remembered immediately how I hate my Canon 550 strobes, it doesn’t matter if I’m using TTL or on Manual they make an ugly harsh light. Total nightmare with the street lights, even if I stick on the DAH sticky plaster, useless unless I’m bouncing off something. Loads of people with their Canons and Nikons with on camera flash and there is me struggling away on crutches one hand holding the camera and the other holding a flash and a crutch. So sick and tired of the Canon strobes I pulled out my trusty Metz from my M6 days and suddenly I had lovely slick and smooth images with just the right amount of flash and goodbye garish looking colours thanks to DAH’s magic Band-Aids.

    Jeff thanks for the ideas… Justin Smith also gave me some very good tips for holding the flash, without any doubt it’s going to be quite fun on crutches.
    Smiling…anyway, something always happens round me, I seem to be rather accident prone, (Akaky will say I’m damned!!) which at least is quite funny once the embarrassment subsides… One of the penitents who was carrying a rather large candle managed to trip over one of my crutches which had quietly slid and turned into a perfect trap. Luckily the hoods are the only thing in common with the KKK!

  • Death comes for all men, something I really don’t want to believe because I keep hoping that I might somehow wangle an exception to the rule, but in order to cater to this unhappy need there are two funeral homes here in our happy little burg, the P. J. Hanrahan Funeral Home and P.J Hanrahan & Sons Funeral Home, and no, the P.J. Hanarahans involved here are not the same people. Paul James and Patrick Joseph Hanrahan were brothers who came to our happy little burg in the mid-1920’s and got into the funeral business by the simple expedient of starting off as gravediggers and then moving their way up the corporate ladder by marrying the boss’s daughter.

    The brothers came from Ireland, as you have no doubt surmised by now, from County Longford, to be exact, where they had fought together against the British in the Irish War of Independence and against each other in the Irish Civil War that immediately followed the War of Independence. The Irish Civil war was a particularly bitter civil war, as civil wars are wont to be—civility and good lemon danish being qualities lacking in almost any civil war you care to read about—with one side, the Free Staters, to which side Paul James Hanrahan belonged, claiming that the Irregulars were defying the legitimate government of the country, and the Irregulars, to which side Patrick Joseph Hanrahan belonged, claiming that the Free Staters had betrayed the Cause and sold out the Irish Republic declared in Dublin in 1916 to the British for a peace treaty that kept the Irish as British subjects in a sideways sort of manner. When the war was over the Free Staters had won. This tangent into modern Irish history need not concern the reader any longer, except to say that because of the war and their involvement in it the two Hanrahan brothers refused to speak to one another—ever. Their wives knew each other, their kids grew up together, but the two men never spoke to each other again for as long as they lived. If the brothers had something to say to each other, the brothers would tell their wives or the kids, who would then go and deliver the message to the other brother. I went to school with a couple of the brothers’ grandkids and they told me years ago that no matter what their political differences the brothers always loved each other the way brothers should, even if each regarded the other as traitorous scum.

    I bring this incongruous bit of history up because the past month has been equally incongruous, with me spending more time than I really wanted to at both Hanrahan funeral homes. I am not yet at that happy age where going to a late friend’s wake and funeral constitutes an enjoyable evening out on the town, so this glimpse into my near future was both a bit unsettling and a chance to network with people I hope will show up at whichever Hanrahan’s home I eventually wind up at. Like Yogi says, if you don’t go to their funerals, they won’t come to yours.

    The first funeral was for the mother of an old school friend I hadn’t seen in years. She looked well—the friend, not the mother—and she didn’t look that much different than she did in high school. I saw several other old school chums at the wake and the years have been about as unkind to them as they have been to me, but the one thing we can all agree on is that the former Concetta Paterno must either be a vampire or has a portrait up in the attic doing the aging for her. In either case, her refusal to age is scaring the rest of us no end. It’s not natural that this woman looks like her grandson could take her to the senior prom without someone immediately noticing the great discrepancy in their ages, not natural at all. I also don’t think it’s natural for someone I went to school with to have grandchildren, but people tell me that this is just one of my personal peeves and that I should get over it forthwith; people in my age cohort are not going to stop having kids and grandkids just because I find rugrats annoying.

    The wake itself was very nice, if you enjoy this sort of thing. I went in and nodded to the grandson of P.J. Hanrahan & Sons— Mr. Hanrahan and all of the original sons having patronized their own establishment with the passage of time—and went in to see Mrs. Paterno, who, just as an aside here, was really one of the nicest people you’d ever care to meet. She lay there, bathed in pink light and surrounded by flowers and sorrowing relatives, and I knelt at the side of the coffin and said an Our Father and an Ave Maria for the repose of her soul the way any good Catholic boy would, and then went on to see Concetta and her family. It was a nice Catholic wake, with a priest and a prayer service and the muffled sobs of women and children and grandchildren, which is about what you’d expect at P.J. Hanrahan & Sons. Paul James Hanrahan was always the more devout of the two brothers and after his father-in-law died and left him the business Paul moved the funeral home from its old location on Mill Street to a large white house just across the street from the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, so that all of the faithful coming out Mass every Sunday would know that their religious duties to the holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church would not be complete without a wake, a Requiem Mass, and burial in consecrated ground in St. Thomas’ Cemetery, all under the direction of P. J. Hanrahan & Sons. This is not such a bad thing either, because for a lot of people here in our happy little burg wakes serve as impromptu family reunions and you can catch up with all the latest family gossip and find out how everyone has been doing since the last time someone in the family passed away.

    The P.J. Hanrahan Funeral Home, by contrast, is across the street from the flashing lights of Tony’s Premier Italian Pizza, a sign that contains four untruths in as many words, which may or may not be some sort of record. There is no Tony—an Albanian gentleman named Fatmir is the owner of this establishment—and his product is premier pizza only if you have no basis of comparison between what he sells and real pizza. To be blunt, calling what comes out of his oven pizza does violence to the word; burnt cardboard with hot ketchup and some melted cheddar cheese on top would bear a closer relationship to pizza than what Fatmir peddles to an unsuspecting public every day; it always amazes me what some people can get away with, although I know that at my age I shouldn’t be amazed. Patrick Joseph Hanrahan might have approved of Fatmir; I think he would have preferred Fatmir to a Catholic church any day of the week. For Patrick Joseph Hanrahan, the Catholic Church, along with every other institution of modern Irish life, was part of a British plot to crush the real Irish Republic and those who fought to establish it and he wanted as little to do with the Church as possible. Consequently, if all the good Catholics went to P.J. Hanrahan & Sons, the P.J. Hanrahan Funeral Home buried lapsed Catholics, Jews, Protestants, free thinkers, Masons, and such other benighted heathens who availed themselves of the opportunity to drop dead here in our happy little burg.

    The occasion of my visit was the wake of a city councilman who was a great patron of the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread, and as the P.J. Hanrahan Funeral Home is on my way home, the powers that be here decided that I should be the one to represent our organization at the wake. I did not want to be a representative of any sort, but it seems I volunteered to go. I don’t remember volunteering—in fact, volunteering is not something I do a lot of; it’s not really in my nature—but the powers that be thanked me for volunteering after they told me that I was going, so I must have volunteered at some point, and the fact that the annual staff evaluations are coming up shortly had nothing to do with my decision, assuming that I made one in the first place.

    The city councilman did not want flowers at his funeral—he suffered from hay fever—and so there were none. I am not sure how the councilman expected to suffer from hay fever after death, especially since his cremation left him with no nasal passages to swell, but if a man cannot have what he wants or doesn’t want at his own funeral then what is the point of having the funeral in the first place? He did have several large photo boards surrounding his earthly remains, most of them dedicated to one or another aspect of his political career, which I assume is ongoing even as we speak—I had the strange sensation throughout the night that this wake was not at all the remembrance of a life, but the councilman’s announcement that he was now a candidate for sainthood. I do not know how exactly one polls such a race, but the crowd in the funeral home seemed enthusiastic about the idea and I am sure that the councilman will remain active in Democratic Party politics both here in our happy little burg and in the hereafter. Maybe it’s just me, but I am always fascinated with the way all dead people vote for the Democrats and I’ve often wondered why that should be the case, given that the Democrats do so little for dead people. Party loyalty trumps all, I guess.

    In any case, the councilman’s wake was a fairly upbeat affair as wakes go—his colleagues from the city council and from his previous post as a member of the board of education stood at the podium and told the relatively enthusiastic audience what a great guy the councilman was and what a great public servant he was and how everyone in our happy little burg would miss him and his willingness to fight for the little guy every election year. There was very little crying or carrying on; it’s hard, I think, to go all teary-eyed over a can of soot; but some people tried to stay somber right up to the point where the mayor started telling funny stories about the late city councilman, and let me just say for the record here that I think telling fat jokes about the deceased was pretty damn tacky, even if they were true.

    After the politicians had their say a minister from an interdenominational church got up and said a prayer that might have been Christian, but seemed to me to be thanking the Earth for the councilman’s presence. I am not sure what role the Earth had in the councilman’s presence here or anywhere else, other than being something he stuck a ceremonial shovel in every now and again to start a building project, but as Hamlet says, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, so what do I know? An excellent question and one for which I do not have an equally excellent answer. Really.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Sorry to interrupt…
    “There are reports that photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros has have been killed in Libya.”
    niahhh…the one is the “Restrepo” and the other is Greek …too early to go upstairs…
    BUT…life is full of surprises…and the journey counts more than the destination…IMO

    ok,AKAKY…there are more things in earth…I am still reading…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    oh my EMCD is doing a report …in the other aisle…is paper hot or not…
    EMCD is reporting…she knows better…

    MICHAELC.BROWN…oime,the signal…did you forget the signal…hmmm

  • panos skoulidas
    April 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm



  • BENGHAZI, Libya — Tim Hetherington, the conflict photographer who was a director and producer of the film “Restrepo,” was killed in the besieged city of Misurata on Wednesday, and three photographers working beside him were wounded.

    The wounds to two of the photographers — Chris Hondros and Guy Martin — were severe, according to Andre Liohn, a colleague at the triage center where they were being treated Wednesday night.

    Mr. Hondros, an American working for the Getty photo agency, suffered a severe brain injury and was in extremely critical condition, according to Mr. Liohn. He had been revived and was clinging to life in the evening. A later update from Mr. Liohn said that Mr. Hondros was in a coma at the medical center, which is located near the front lines.

  • The fourth photographer, Michael Christopher Brown, suffered shrapnel injuries to his left shoulder, but his life was not in danger. He was resting Wednesday night.



    please lets treat each other with the ultimate respect..not take friends or life for granted..treat each other like its the last day…on earth..
    pick the phone and dont ignore or mistreat anyone anymore…today could be the last day for any of us:(
    Sad Day


  • I Think Continually Of Those Who Were Truly Great

    I think continually of those who were truly great.
    Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
    Through corridors of light where the hours are suns
    Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
    Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
    Should tell of the Spirit clothed from head to foot in song.
    And who hoarded from the Spring branches
    The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.

    What is precious is never to forget
    The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
    Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
    Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
    Nor its grave evening demand for love.
    Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
    With noise and fog the flowering of the spirit.

    Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields
    See how these names are fŠted by the waving grass
    And by the streamers of white cloud
    And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
    The names of those who in their lives fought for life
    Who wore at their hearts the fire’s center.
    Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
    And left the vivid air signed with their honor.
    –Stephen Spender

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Come on BURNIANS…spread the news…keep the spirit…you are all fighters…

    “People so seldom say I love you And then it’s either too late or love goes. So when I tell you I love you, It doesn’t mean I know you’ll never go, Only that I wish you didn’t have to.”

    for those upstairs …WE LOVE YOU…!!!

  • PAUL… did you ever get around to find Bruce Davidson’s triology? If not:

  • Eva…

    Yes I’ve found the Bruce Davidson Trilogy, I just can’t afford it at the moment, hoping copies will last until June, I may not be so skint by then.
    Right now I’m sitting in the local park, fingers crossed hoping it won’t rain this afternoon. I’ve taken probably the wrong book with me after hearing the awful news late last night. Pellegrin’s book is mesmerizing and currently with Ankerman’s ”End of time City” are becoming my favourite books. It’s just that I’m in a sombre mood especially after hearing the news in rehab whilst reading Sebastian Junger’s ”war”…

  • Eva and whoever else purchased ”Sightwalk”…

    Be careful this book is extremely delicate…mine fell apart last night, I ended up holding images in one hand and the beautiful cover in the other. Managed to glue back together again but one of the red cotton stitches is also starting to fall apart.

  • Justin Maxon, who had his essay featured here on Burn a while back:

    is now on, raising funds to take the work a step further:

  • ATTENTION:(5/5/11)

    Ok ALL, just had a phone conversation with ALEC SOTH on the phone about the POSTCARDS OF AMERICA project.. 5 Magnum photogs will be in San Antonio Texas the 12th of May.. I need to recruit 4 people to assist that day. Alec is in Minneapolis and I’m already here.. So I’m trying to co-ordinate all that from here..
    at 310 745 7005 for further instructions!

  • panos skoulidas
    May 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm


    Lance is arriving with all cameras shipped from europe, Alec Soth is here, picking up Jim Goldberg from airport at afternoon…Paolo & Susan arrive a little later and then briefing in the hotel…and off we go…
    STAY TUNED…or follow FB link above (POSTCARDS FROM AMERICA)

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