In his final year thesis for the Fontys Hogeschool Communicatie (FHC) in Eindhoven, Boudewijn Bollman researched the importance of imagery in culture and communication. He did this by conducting in-depth interviews with fifteen people, each one an authority on a specific field of Image Culture. Those interviewed included an architect, graphic artist, Visual Editor and trendwatcher.
The fifteen interviews collectively created a unique source of knowledge and gave Boudewijn a direction in the infinite landscape of image. Since Boudewijn, in addition to being a communication student, is a photographer and proud creator of the photozine Twisted Streets, it seemed only logical that he hybrid these qualities and spawn a fully grown magazine about visual culture, interweaving text, photos, and illustrations. The first issue of the magazine If only there was someone to read me fairy tales of all sorts... will be available from July this year.
Image Culture is a typical notion of recent times and presumes we live in a time where image is allpowerful. The written word appears to have taken second rank. But is that really the case, and can we even discuss Image Culture in isolation from the written word? To what extent are truth and reality compatible when you tell a story with image? Does the viewer take the time to let the image sink in, and what will our image consumption be like fifty years from now? Must we fight against Image Culture if we do not want to drown in it? Such a broad and all-embracing concept as Image Culture raises many questions. This is how the research began, it’s end unclear. The crucial question now is if the research will ever end; after fifteen interviews the thirst for more ‘fairy tales about image’ has only increased....
For an impression of Boudewijn’s thesis and the kind of topics that will appear in the magazine here are some noteworthy quotes from those interviewed:
Fritz Giertsberg director of exhibits Dutch Photomuseum and professor Photography Erasmus University
It is a myth of sorts that the essence of photography lies in the naive and innocent use thereof. Amateurs, unacquainted with tradition, innovate by the means of naive discovery. Photography is moving away from the archetypal portrait of the tough war photographer, but it will make a come back one day. Photography has always gone in cycles and the current success can be attributed to, among other things, the internet where you can find countless amateur photographs. Attention for the non-professional image is coming back in waves.
Remco van de Craats Creative Director Edhv, EindhovenThe globalization of knowledge comes with many negative connotations.There is a lot of imitation going on. For the younger generation it is easy to find a style they like on the internet and make it their own. As a result there is less and less differentation.The positive effect is that this generation improves or moulds styles to their own liking. To be unique has become increasingly difficult; almost everything has been done before. The internet has made this painfully clear.
Hans Aarsman former photographer and author about photographyIf, 60 years from now, you show an image of a pair of exposed boobs, I am afraid men will still sit up. The D’ecolletage is actually the highlight of the image. Everything is there; the hidden, the desired, the forbidden. You are not supposed to look but stillin your mind you see the road you want to go down.
Freek Lomme Onomatopee (art publisher) and exhibit designer at the Van Abbe Museum People often deplore youth today for not visiting museums. Those people need a wake up call in my opinion. You have to look at what you think is cool and what relates to your daily life. If you’re going to talk about Spongebob’s diving suit, then so be it; as long as it relates to how you experience the world.
Lidewij Edelkoort trendwatcher and Director of the Design Academy, Eindhoven. There are people who really do have shit in their eyes, they simply can’t see anything. It’s not about the dumbing down of culture as people say or as a result of education either. No, I think its actually ingrained. Just like if you are born colourblind or extremely sensitive to imagery. That, in my opinion, has just as much effect on the elite as it does on the masses.
Eric Sjouerman & Elske van der Putten Design studio HEYHEYHEY These days young people are tremendously MTV-minded. Kids take pictures with an ultra wide angle lens and that’s it. Give it a few years and another style will reign. It is better to know the basics, the roots of your discipline. If you are familiar with the genuine article then you also know how far you can push it.
Edie Peters former image editor Volkskrant, founder photoq.nl I would like to go to a newspaper like the New York Times to see how such a complex organization works. The majority of Chief Editors at Dutch newspapers are incompetent when it comes to imagery in my opinion. In England, Germany and America you see more people involved at management level with an insight into what photojournalism can do for the media. Dutch Chief Editors claim that images are crucial but it’s nothing but regurgitation. More often than not, they have not got a clue what they are actually talking about.
Hans Robertus Senior Director Philips Design Influential trendwatchers make so-called trend books. Supposedly containing the definitive vision about image, companies snap them up. This poses a serious threat; there will come a time when no one will ask questions anymore, because one trend guru has become the authority. From an economic perspective companies cannot avoid this, but the question is whether or not a uniform image will emerge as a consequence.