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Tonight on BBC Three is the premier of Teen Exorcists, in which Brynne Larson and Tess and Savannah Scherkenback, teenage girls from Arizona who happen to be exorcists just like Brynne's dad, visit the UK! I bet they were a huge hit there. After all, Harry Potter author JK Rowling is British and, as Tess Scherkenback says, "The spells and things that you're reading in the Harry Potter books, those aren't just something that are made up, those are actual spells. Those are things that came from witchcraft books." What wonderful ambassadors of American culture these young women are. You can learn more about them in this BBC News profile: "Teen exorcists: Women who expel demons on stage"

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Jonathan Glazer‘s heady sci-fi film Under the Skin finally hit festivals in the past month, and made quite an impression thanks to the fact that Scarlett Johansson plays an alien with a less than healthy interest in human men.

Some of the films unusual tone comes from the fact that Glazer shot on real streets without telling people they were being filmed; some of the men Johansson interacts with didn’t know they were in the movie until afterward. Maybe you got a sense of the film’s strange character in the first teaser that hit not long ago, but you can get a better look now.

Check out the full trailer below.

Expect to see Under the Skin in early 2014.

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(author unknown)

VICE Loves Magnum: Chris Steele-Perkins Can’t Let Go of England 

Chris Steele-Perkins studied psychology before turning to photography. His early work focused on social ills in British cities, at the time working with the EXIT collective. His time with EXIT culminated in a book by the group called Survival Programmes. In 1979, he released his first solo book, Teds, examining the British Teddy Boy subculture of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. After that, Steele-Perkins started to travel more widely, photographing Africa, Afghanistan, and later Japan. A Magnum member since 1979, we talked to him about all that and his obsession with England.

VICE: Your background seems pretty varied, having studied things like chemistry and psychology. Has that informed your work at all?
Chris Steele-Perkins: I’m not sure about that. I was obviously searching for something that I wanted to do, so I started off with chemistry and I soon figured out that wasn’t where I wanted to be. Psychology was interesting and fun, but again didn’t feel right. It was during that time that I got to working for the student newspaper as a photographer and that kind of got me going. When I finished my degree, I realized that was the route I wanted to follow.

Going back to the psychology bit, it feels like you have a strong connection to the personal aspect of photography. Clearly you’re shooting a lot of people, but you seem to really get to the soul of a lot of personal issues. Do you think studying psychology made you more easily connect with people and their plights? 
I think that’s more to do with common sense, honestly. I could argue that the best connection psychology offered was the fact that it wasn’t nuclear physics. It was a relatively easy course, I must say, which gave me a lot of time to develop my photography. I think my interest indeed is, without meaning to sound pretentious, the human condition. How people live around the world and in the world. I was also hugely influenced by the great humanist photographers; Kertész, Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, people like that. They were a powerful influence early on, when you’re most influenced.

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TIME Photo Department

“For centuries, Cuba’s greatest resource has been its people,” writes Pico Iyer in an extended essay on the Caribbean nation in this week’s magazine. In the twilight of the Castro era, Cubans are finding that change brings both hope and anxiety.

To pair with Iyer’s tome, TIME called upon Danish photographer Joakim Eskildsen. Eskildsen, who previously photographed a large portfolio for TIME on the state of poverty in America, traveled to Cuba for ten days, photographing urban housing projects in Havana and rural settlements across the countryside. With the help of local journalist Abel Gonzalez Alayon, Eskildsen photographed tobacco plantations, roadside fruit vendors, migrant workers and beachfront resorts — capturing all in the vibrant saturation of medium-format color film.

“I immediately fell in awe with the complexity of this country,” says Eskildsen. “The more you learn about the situation and how people are living, the more difficult it becomes to understand. It was like learning to view the world form a Cuban angle that kept surprising and inspiring me.”

To read Pico Iyer’s extended essay on Cuba, subscribe here. Already a subscriber? Click here.

Joakim Eskildsen is a Danish photographer based in Berlin. LightBox previously featured Eskildsen’s Home Works and Below the Line: Portraits of American Poverty.

Abel Gonzalez Alayon is a journalist based in Cuba. Follow him on Twitter @abelcuba.

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noreply@blogger.com (Mitchell Whitelaw)

At CODE2012 I presented a paper on "programmable matter" and the proto-computational work of Ralf Baecker and Martin Howse - part of a long-running project on digital materiality. My sources included interviews with the artists, which I will be publishing here. Ralf Baecker's 2009 The Conversation is a complex physical network, woven from solenoids - electro-mechanical "bits" or binary switches. It was one of the works that started me thinking about this notion of the proto-computational - where artists seem to be stripping digital computing down to its raw materials, only to rebuild it as something weirder. Irrational Computing (2012) - which crafts a "computer" more like a modular synth made from crystals and wires - takes this approach further. Here Baecker begins by responding to this notion of proto-computing.

MW: In your work, especially Irrational Computing, we seem to see some of the primal, material elements of digital computing. But this "proto" computing is also quite unfamiliar - it is chaotic, complex and emergent, we can't control or "program" it, and it is hard to identify familiar elements such as memory vs processor. So it seems that your work is not only deconstructing computing - revealing its components - but also reconstructing it in a strange new form. Would you agree?

RB: It took me a long time to adopt the term "proto-computing". I don't mean proto in a historical or chronological sense; it is more about its state of development. I imagine a device that refers to the raw material dimension of our everyday digital machinery. Something that suddenly appears due to the interaction of matter. What I had in mind was for instance the natural nuclear fission reactor in Oklo, Gabon that was discovered in 1972. A conglomerate of minerals in a rock formation formed the conditions for a functioning nuclear reactor, all by chance. 

Computation is a cultural and not a natural phenomenon; it includes several hundred years of knowledge and cultural technics, these days all compressed into a microscopic form (the CPU). In the 18th century the mechanical tradition of automata and symbolic/mathematical thinking merged into the first calculating and astronomical devices. Also the combinatoric/hermeneutic tradition (e.g. Athanasius Kircher and Ramon Llull) is very influential to me. These automatons/concepts were philosophical and epistemological. They were dialogic devices that let us think further, much against our current utilitarian use of technology. Generative utopia.


Schematic of Irrational Computing courtesy of the artist - click for PDF

MW: Your work stages a fusion of sound, light and material. In Irrational Computing for example we both see and hear the activity of the crystals in the SiC module. Similarly in The Conversation, the solenoids act as both mechanical / symbolic components and sound generators. So there is a strong sense of the unity of the audible and the visual - their shared material origins. (This is unlike conventional audiovisual media for example where the relation between sound and image is highly constructed). It seems that there is a sense of a kind of material continuum or spectrum here, binding electricity, light, sound, and matter together?

RB: My first contact with art or media art came through net art, software art and generative art. I was totally fascinated by it. I started programming generative systems for installations and audiovisual performances. I like a lot of the early screen based computer graphics/animation stuff. The pure reduction to wireframes, simple geometric shapes. I had the feeling that in this case concept and representation almost touch each other. But I got lost working with universial machines (Turing machines). With Rechnender Raum I started to do some kind of subjective reappropriation of the digital. So I started to build my very own non-universal devices. Rechnender Raum could also be read as a kinetic interpretation of a cellular automaton algorithm. Even if the Turing machine is a theoretical machine it feels very plastic to me. It a metaphorical machine that shows the conceptual relation of space and time. Computers are basically transposers between space and time, even without seeing the actual outcome of a simulation. I like to expose the hidden structures. They are more appealing to me than the image on the screen.

MW: There is a theme of complex but insular networks in your work. In The Conversation this is very clear - a network of internal relationships, seeking a dynamic equilibrium. Similarly in Irrational Computing, modules like the phase locked loop have this insular complexity. Can you discuss this a little bit? This tendency reminds me of notions of self-referentiality, for example in the writing of Hofstadter, where recursion and self-reference are both logical paradoxes (as in Godel's theorem) and key attributes of consciousness. Your introverted networks have a strong generative character - where complex dynamics emerge from a tightly constrained set of elements and relationships.

RB: Sure, I'm fascinated by this kind of emergent processes, and how they appear on different scales. But I find it always difficult to use the attribute consciousness. I think these kind of chaotic attractors have a beauty on their own. Regardless how closed these systems look, they are always influenced by its environment. The perfect example for me is the flame of a candle. A very dynamic complex process communicating with its environment, that generates the dynamics.

MW: You describe The Conversation as "pataphysical", and mention the "mystic" and "magic" aspects of Irrational Computing. Can you say some more about this a aspect of your work? Is there a sort of romantic or poetic idea here, about what is beyond the rational, or is this about a more systematic alternative to how we understand the world?

RB: Yes, it refers to an other kind of thinking. A thinking that is anti "cause and reaction". A thinking of hidden relations, connections and uncertainty. I like Claude Lévi-Strauss' term "The Savage Mind".

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Original author: 
Mikko Takkunen

Features and Essays

Robin Hammond

Robin Hammond / Panos Pictures / National Geographic

Robin Hammond: Zimbabwe: Breaking the Silence (The National Geographic Magazine) Oppression, Fear, and Courage in Zimbabwe | From the National Geographic magazine May issue.

Pete Muller: Questioning Zimbabwe’s Underdogs (NYT)

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis (NYT)

Michael Yamashita: China’s Ancient Lifeline (NGM) The 1,400-year-old Grand Canal is a monumental project that bound north and south China together. It’s still in use today.

FrancoPagetti / VII

Franco Pagetti / VII

Franco Pagetti: The Veils of Aleppo (LightBox)

Stanley Greene: The Dead and The Alive (NOOR) Syria

Giles Duley: Syrian Refugees (Guardian)

Nish L. Nalbandian: Portraits of Syrian Rebels (LA Times Framework blog)

Yusuf Sayman: Rebel Fighters Inside Aleppo (The Daily Beast)

Louie Palu

Louie Palu / Zuma Press / The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Louie Palu: Documenting Murder in Mexico (Mother Jones) The brutality of the drug war, on both sides of the border.

Dominic Bracco II: A Salvation Army of One (NYT Magazine) The Rev. Robert Coogan working in Saltillo, Mexico.

Shiho Fukada / Panos Pictures

Shiho Fukada / Panos Pictures / The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

Shiho Fukada: Japan’s Rootless and Restless Workers (NYT Lens)

Jenn Ackerman: Minnesota, Frozen in Place and Time (NYT Lens)

Aaron Vincent Elkaim: The Last Great Race on Earth (Photo Booth) Iditarod, a thousand-and-forty-nine-mile race across Alaska

Fritz Hoffmann: On Beyond 100 (NGM) Photographer Fritz Hoffmann introduces us to people who have mastered the secret of long life.

Ami Vitale: Back at the Ranch (Panos Pictures)

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder: North Korea (Denver Post) While threats of a missile launch have renewed tensions with North Korea, photojournalist David Guttenfelder has returned to continue documenting life there.

Yuri Kozyrev: Pull Out From Afghanistan (NOOR)

Phil Moore: Mogadishu Boosts Security (Al Jazeera) Safety improves in Somalia’s once war-torn capital despite recent attack and ongoing threats of violence.

Zed Nelson: The Family (Institute) Zed Nelson’s project started in the summer of 1991, just turned 21

Gabriele Galimberti: My Couch Is Your Couch (Institute) Couchsurfers around the world

Steeve Iuncker / Agence VU

Steeve Iuncker / Agence VU

Steeve Iuncker: Yakutsk (LightBox) The Coldest City on Earth

James Whitlow Delano: Buried in Japan (TIME) Japan’s Aomori Prefecture might be at the same latitude as New York, but its climate can seem a lot more harsh.

Maja Daniels: In the mists of Älvdalen, Sweden (Financial Times Magazine) A world away from cosmopolitan Stockholm lies a strange forested land with an ancient language and a singular sense of quiet desolation

Antonio Olmos: Murder Most Ordinary (Guardian) Photographer Antonio Olmos spent two years visiting the site of every murder that took place within the M25 in London.

Ben Roberts: Higher Lands (Document Scotland) Growing up in the Scottish Highlands

Marco Kessler: Belarus: An Uncertain Winter (Vimeo) Belarus, once an integral frontier of the USSR, remains steeped in the Communist legacy, which ruled the daily lives of the nation for over 70 years.

Alexis Lambrou: Teaching for Life (NYT Lens) Young Brooklyn high school teacher, whose life revolves around her students and colleagues at a Brooklyn public high school.

Arthur Nazaryan: Ballet Competitions (NYT Lens) 12-year-old Russian immigrant’s efforts to become a ballerina

Amanda Rivkin: Post-Racial America Road Trip (VII Mentor)

Tommaso Protti: The Youth of Amid (Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent) Turkey

Adam Patterson: Another Lost Child (CNN Photo blog)

Patrick van Dam: Dreams of new homes abandoned in Greece (CNN Photo blog)

Articles

Eugene Richards

Eugene Richards

The Hero in the Cowboy Hat: Carlos Arredondo’s Story by Eugene Richards (LightBox)

A Photographer’s View of the Carnage: “When I Look at the Photos, I Cry” (LightBox)

Herald photographer details night Boston will never forget (Boston Herald)

News Media Weigh Use of Photos of Carnage (NYT)

A Blurry Double Standard? A Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombing (PhotoShelter)

Tragedy and the Role of Professional Photojournalists (Chicago Tribune Assignment Chicago blog)

On That Iconic Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombings (BagNewsNotes)

Runner, spectator get photos of marathon suspects (AP Big Story blog)

Photo Essay Of Boston Bomber Was Shot By Former BU Student (NPPA)

Courtesy HBO

Courtesy HBO

Peter van Agtmael: Revisiting Memory and Preserving Legacy: Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros (LightBox)

Tim Hetherington, Indelible on Film (NYT Lens)

A War Photographer Who Was More Than Just an Adrenaline Junkie (Mother Jones)

Killed documentary maker Tim Hetherington remembered in film (BBC) video

Which Way is the Frontline?: a documentary tribute to Tim Hetherington (BJP)

Tim Hetherington’s Photograph’s at the Yossi Milo Gallery (Photo Booth)

Honoring Chris Hondros (Getty Images blog)

Manu Brabo / AP

Manu Brabo / AP

The 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Associated Press Coverage of Syria (LightBox)

The Pulitzer Prizes Winners (Pulitzer)

Photographs of Syria Sweep Pulitzer Prizes (NYT Lens)

Javier Manzano / AFP

Javier Manzano / AFP

A Pulitzer picture first day on the job (AFP Correspondent blog) Photograph taken by Javier Manzano in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo on October 18, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

Witness to Newtown’s tragedy (Reuters TV) On December 14, 2012 a gunman opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School, leaving 26 dead, including 20 young children. Reuters photographers share their experience covering the story that devastated Newtown, Connecticut and the rest of the country.

David Guttenfelder / AP

David Guttenfelder / AP

Photographer chronicles life in North Korea (NBC)  In spite of the angry rhetoric, life in North Korea goes on as normal – or at least what passes as normal in this isolated state. AP photographer David Guttenfelder has been chronicling life in North Korea for years.

Those photos of young Kim Jong Un performing in ‘Grease’ are probably of his brother (The Washington Post)

I almost died in Syria (Salon)

Olivier Voisin’s last images (Paris Match L’instant)

Taking RISC: Program Trains Reporters How To Save Lives in War Zones (ABC News)

RISC: Training reporters how to save lives (BJP)

French photographer Pierre Borghi escapes four months after kidnapping in Afghanistan (New York Daily News)

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Fellowships 2013 (Guggenheim Foundation)

Feisal Omar: “Are you al-Shabaab or soldiers?” (Reuters Photographers blog) Covering Somalia

Featured photojournalist: Christopher Furlong (Guardian)

Anastasia Rudenko (Verve Photo)

Thomas Cristofoletti (Verve Photo)

Challenging an Old Narrative in Latin American Photojournalism (NYT Lens)

Donna De Cesare’s Photo of Violence in El Salvador (NYT Lens)

How the 1962 monsoons inspired Steve McCurry (Phaidon) Forthcoming book, Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind The Photographs, tells how coverage of the Indian rainy season in Life magazine set the Magnum photographer off on a life of photography and far flung travel.

Sebastiao Salgado’s Genesis (BBC)

Sebastião Salgado documents world’s wildernesses in new Genesis exhibition (Guardian)

Sebastião Salgado: Genesis – review (Guardian)

André Kertész: Truth and Distortion, Atlas Gallery, London – review (FT)

Explore Nic Dunlop’s new book Brave New Burma (Panos Pictures blog)

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Wire Photographer Spotlight: Daily Life by Muhammed Muheisen (LightBox)

A Year Later, Instagram Hasn’t Made a Dime. Was it Worth $1 Billion? (TIME)

Making Art With Tom Waits (NYT Magazine)

The National Geographic Trove (Photo Booth)

Genius in colour: Why William Eggleston is the world’s greatest photographer (The Independent)

Bert Stern’s Beautiful Photography and Less-Beautiful Personal Life, on Screen (The Atlantic) A new documentary shows two sides of the man who took some of the most iconic celebrity photographs of the 20th century: creative genius and womanizer.

“Arnold Newman: At Work” explores photographer through his archive (Harry Ransom Center Cultural Compass blog)

Native Americans: Portraits From a Century Ago (The Atlantic)

Meeting Florida’s Seminoles Through Rediscovered Photos (NPR)

Photographer David Moore’s dingy, deteriorating Derby is the real deal (Guardian) Chronicler of 80′s working-class England peers behind closed doors to capture a community indelibly marked by Margaret Thatcher.

Graham Nash’s best photograph (Guardian) Joni Mitchell listening to her new album

Unsung hero of photography Thurston Hopkins turns 100 (Guardian)

This was England: the photographs of Chris Killip (Guardian) Chris Killip’s study of the communities that bore the brunt of industrial decline in the North East have earned him a nomination for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

Deutsche Börse Photography prize show: mashups and moon walkers (Guardian)

Deutsche Börse photography prize 2013 (Guardian) video | Sean O’Hagan meets the nominees for the annual Deutsche Börse photography prize. They’re all on show at the Photographers’ Gallery in London until June 30.

Estate of Jacques Lowe

Estate of Jacques Lowe

When an Archive is Lost: Jacques Lowe’s Rare (And Recently Restored) Look at JFK’s Camelot (LightBox)

The Heart of a Beast: Charlotte Dumas’ Poignant Animal Photography (LightBox)

Teenage Precinct Shoppers by Nigel Shafran: A Look Back to 1990 (LightBox)

The World’s Oldest Photography Museum Goes Digital (Smithsonian)

Pecha Kucha: The art of speed-talking about photography (BJP)

Martin Parr ‘Life’s A Beach’ Exhibit And Book Capture Fun In The Sun From Brazil To Japan (The Huffington Post)

The unseen Lee Miller: Lost images of the supermodel-turned-war photographer go on show (The Independent)

The Surreal World of Nina Leen (Photo Booth)

Rescuing a Photo Prince Vita Luckus From Obscurity (NYT Lens)

How photographers joined the self-publishing revolution (Guardian)

Elaborate Drive-By Photo Studio Takes Pedestrians by Surprise (Wired)

Interviews and Talks

John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

John Tlumacki (LightBox) Tragedy in Boston: One Photographer’s Eyewitness Account | LightBox spoke with Boston Globe photographer John Tlumacki, who photographed the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Tlumacki, who has photographed more than 20 marathons in his 30 years at the Globe, describes the sheer chaos of the scene.

John Tlumacki (Poynter) Globe’s Tlumacki: ‘I am dealing with trauma & trying to keep busy’ following Boston tragedy

Sebastião Salgado (Natural History Museum YouTube) Genesis

Sebastião Salgado (Guardian) A God’s eye view of the planet – interview

Sebastião Salgado (NYT) In Love With My Planet

Sebastião Salgado (Taschen) Two men, one mission: Salgado talks with Benedikt Taschen about the photographic project that changed his life.

Sebastian Junger (Indiewire) On the Value and Cost of War Reporting and Making a Film About His Late ‘Restrepo’ Co-Director Tim Hetherington

Sebastian Junger (NPR) ‘Which Way’ To Turn After Hetherington’s Death

Sebastian Junger (WNYC) The Life and Times of Tim Hetherington

Michelle McNally (Le Journal de la Photographie) The New York Times Director of Photography

James Estrin (Le Journal de la Photographie) NYT photographer and Lens blog editor

Patrick Witty (Zorye Kolektiv)  International Picture Editor at TIME

David Campbell to reveal WPPh multimedia research (Canon Professional Network)

Robin Hammond (NGM) The Moment: Caught in Zimbabwe

Jeff Jacobson (PDN) On Beauty, Ambiguity and Mortality

Yuri Kozyrev (Zorye Kolektiv)

Emilio Morenatti (Zorye Kolektiv)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind (Repor Madrid TV)

Thurston Hopkins (Guardian) On his 100th birthday this week, one of the great photojournalists of the 20th century, Thurston Hopkins, talks about his career as a photographer at Picture Post

Pari Dukovic (Wonderland magazine)

Mike Brodie (LA Times Framework blog)

Danielle Levitt (Dazed Digital) Danielle Levitt’s Favourite Tribes

Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com.

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