The BFA Photography Department recently published Issue 13 of its award-winning tri-annual magazine Dear Dave,. With direction from editor-in-chief Stephen Frailey (chair of the BFA Photography Department and co-chair of the MPS Fashion Photography Department), the magazine’s editorial team chose portfolios and essays that examine the effects of technology on the function and content of images for the latest issue.
Writer, artist, and technologist James Bridle gathered satellite images from Google maps with confirmed reports of drone strikes for the website and series “Dronestegram: The Drone’s Eye-View, 2012-2013.” The aerial view of these attack sites abstracts the images, further removing the viewer from the horror and destruction captured in the photographs. The flat, fake quality and lack of detail gives the images a highly stylized aesthetic that, for Bridle, emphasizes the most striking contrast: drone images seek proof of death rather than proof of life.
Tim Maul’s (IW 1973 Fine Arts) essay on Tiana Peterson’s (MFA 2007 Photography, Video, and Related Media) photographic manipulations of pop-up books highlights the ways in which she critiques and explores the mythos of architectural greats including Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry. For her “Pop-Up Background” series, Peterson ripped out the 3D cardboard inserts from children’s books on the architects, only leaving behind torn paper backed fragments as a codex of erasure.
BFA Photography Department faculty member Barbara Pollack contributes reflections on the work of her former student Morten Andenaes (BFA 2002 Photography), whose series “Skyldfolk” refers to the changing reality of the Norweigan middle class. Although most of the images were taken prior to the 2011 massacres, Andenaes’s precisely staged and lighted photos seem to allude to the tragedy that was to come.
When Zambia gained independence in 1964, the nation decided to enter the “space race” and become the first entity to send African astronauts to Mars. Cristina De Middel revisits this failed endeavor by enacting fictional portraits of the mission. Images of dusty, lush, and rock-riddled landscapes lay the groundwork for found “artifacts,” sky gazing, and alien exploration.
Also featured in Issue 13 are fashion photographer Erik Madigan Heck’s opulent and highly saturated images; Julián Barón’s overexposed reflections on the complicated relationship among power, privilege, and the availability of and easy access to cameras; and Marco Breuer’s photo essay on impermanence and the indefinable, inspired by his fondness for collecting informal snapshots.
Dear Dave, magazine can be purchased at select bookstores and newsstands and is also available by online subscription.