Every time a new communication medium came along from radio and telephone, to television and smartphones experts send out a death notice for the press... in printed form. Now some analysts are assessing that within 25 years the digital revolution will bring about the end of paper books and magazines. Would we, baby boomers, be the last generation to read words inked on pages? Will the future of the book, the magazine, and the newspaper be laying in e-publishing?
We strongly believe that the outlook for the printed page is brightening. We also believe that words, and specially art images and photographs will continue to appear on sheets of paper for a long while no matter how much e-book and e-zines, Kindles and iPads increase their sales. Printed books, new and used, still account for about three quarters of overall book sales in the United States; recent surveys revealed that fans of e-books continue to purchase a of printed volumes. We know that some publications are struggling to survive, but many others are holding on to their readers. If we think of words on screens as substitutes for words on paper, we are probably mistaken. Indeed e-zines and paper magazines seem to be different things, suited to different kinds of reading and providing different feelings, aesthetic and intellectual experiences, but it is true that there are readers that will continue to prefer print, and others will develop a particular taste for the digital, while others may happily switch back and forth between the two.
Of course there are always those who are more interested in money than the product, like Time Warner (whose head people are not magazine people) that will spin off all the Time Inc. magazines into a separate company after it posted a revenue decline on 2012. Or Newsweek that after being sold to Sidney Harman a year before his death for $1 and the assumption of the magazine’s liabilities ($47m) merged with the website The Daily Beast and two years later, on December 2012, stop being published in a print format. Probably it wasn’t the digital era that killed the printed Newsweek but the greed surrounded by huge bonuses, huge salaries, and stock shares for the big guys. Yes, those companies were more interested in money than the product…
But there are plenty of people that still prefer to read magazines on paper. And if we’re reading an art magazine, we surely will prefer having a printed glossy magazine in our hands. We enjoy when a new issue shows up in our mailbox or randomly picking up a new magazine off a newsstand. We like the ability to quickly browse back and forth. We like to collect issues.
However we do understand the benefits of digital, believing magazine publishers need to offer their magazines in both mediums. eXel Photo will be launched on March 2014 as a digital and print magazine, and will be published every two months. And in every issue, starting with the first, photographers will have the chance to showcase their work in print and digital formats (and in eXel's website's gallery.)
MAGRITTE: The Mistery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938
Museum of Modern Art, NYC
September 28, 2013 - January 12, 2014
On Photography is a 1977 collection of essays by Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004;an American writer and filmmaker, professor, literary icon, and political activist.) On Photography originally appeared as a series of essays in the New York Review of Books between 1973 and 1977.
In the book, Sontag expresses her views on the history and present-day role of photography in capitalist societies as of the 1970s. Sontag discusses many examples of modern photography. Among these, she contrasts Diane Arbus's work with that of Depression-era documentary photography commissioned by the Farm Security Administration.
She also explores the history of American photography in relation to the idealistic notions of America put forth by Walt Whitman and traces these ideas through to the increasingly cynical aesthetic notions of the 1970s, particularly in relation to Arbus and Andy Warhol.
Sontag argues that the proliferation of photographic images had begun to establish within people a "chronic voyeuristic relation" to the world around them. Among the consequences of photography is that the meaning of all events is leveled and made equal. This idea did not originate with Sontag, who often synthesized European cultural thinkers with her particular eye toward the United States.
As she argues, perhaps originally with regard to photography, the medium fostered an attitude of anti-intervention. Sontag says that the individual who seeks to record cannot intervene, and that the person who intervenes cannot then faithfully record, for the two aims contradict each other. In this context, she discusses in some depth, the relationship of photography to politics.
On Photography won the National Book Critics Circle Award for 1977 and was selected among the top 20 books of 1977 by the editors of the New Times Book Review.
In 1977, William H. Gass, sup in the New York Times, said the book "shall surely stand near the beginning of all our thoughts upon the subject" of photography.
In a 1998 appraisal of the work, Michael Starenko, wrote in Afterimage magazine that "On Photography has become so deeply absorbed into this discourse that Sontag's claims about photography, as well as her mode of argument, have become part of the rhetorical 'tool kit' that photography theorists and critics carry around in their heads."
Sontag's work is literary and polemical rather than academic. It includes no bibliography, and few notes. There is little sustained analysis of the work of any particular photographer and is not in any sense a research project as often written by Ph.D students. Many of the lesser reviews from the world of art photography that followed On Photography at the time of its publication were skeptical and often hostile, such as those of Colin L. Westerbeck and Michael Lesy.
In 2004, Sontag published a partial refutation of the opinions she espoused in On Photography in her collection of essays Regarding the Pain of Others. This book may be deemed as a postscript or addition to On Photography. Sontag's publishing history includes a similar sequence with regard to her work Illness as Metaphor from the 1970s and AIDS and Its Metaphors a decade later, which included a revision of many ideas contained in the earlier work.