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by Ariel Goldberg

“No one was
commenting on my
photo then I realized
I posted it so only
I could see it.”

The photo shaped stanzas of Ariel’s pages spread like a photo album of direct engagement with the terrors of our social media blitzed biases. The Photographer tests assumptions rigorously, in an honest response so you’re not wondering where their opinion lies. Ariel is in harmony with a poetry “shot in the eye with a rubber bullet”. Do you want to actually know or just think you know? The Photographer is unafraid to say.

Praise for The Photographer:

Ariel Goldberg’s photographer might be an essayist, philosopher, or performance artist, or they might well be you, a twenty-first-century citizen caught in the crossfire of electronic media sharing, from ubiquitous selfies capturing the minutiae of people’s lives to whistle-blowing stills leaked during wartime. In an age when anyone with a smartphone is a potential photojournalist, what separates a framed composition from real life, a chance snapshot from a monumental exposé? You’ll find a panorama of bracing responses here in Goldberg’s genre-defying texts, including confessional alt captions for irretrievable images, epistolary meditations on the unusual ways photos are viewed today, a discursive press conference that questions photographic permission, and a campy garage-sale lecture on the obsolescence of camera accessories—all underscored by the keen, enigmatic voice of a present-day photographer who knows the tricks of the trade but holds to a credo of candor, who contends both voluntarily and involuntarily with what Susan Sontag called “an ethics of seeing.”              
- Pamela Lu

In this brilliant and inventive text, Goldberg presents photography not as an aesthetic pursuit, but an unavoidable task in the stream of daily chores; pictures must be taken, developed, printed, uploaded, posted, shared, downloaded, analyzed, read, questioned, mistrusted, filed, stored, managed and deleted. The Photographer is engaging, funny, disturbing and profound. 
- Zoe Leonard

The Photographer paints a devastatingly accurate portrait of a medium and technology that has reached its unholy apex of glut and saturation in the surveillance-subjected lives of digital makers and consumers.
- Moyra Davey

About the Author:

The Photographer is Ariel Goldberg’s first book of poetry and the first in a trilogy of books. The second part of the trilogy: A Book of Photographs, is forthcoming. The Estrangement Principle, a book length essay on labeling art queer, will be published in 2016. Goldberg is a research fellow at the New York Public Library’s Wertheim Study and the Friday Night Coordinator at The Poetry Project.

92 pages
ISBN: 978-1-931824-60-6
Publication date: April 2015


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