If, after reading this, you think that's completely wrong or if you think that has nothing to do with me then I bid you adieu with a warm heart.
If you think, on the other hand, something in region between spot on mate! and damn his eyes, he has gotten this vital point utterly wrong, I wish to correct him and am prepared to fight then the invitation extends to you. You are invited to contact me (amolitor at gmail) with angry screeds of response, and/or artistic output which exemplifies what you think this all ought to be about.
I want to make things, and I want you to make things, and I want you and I to make things together.
This is, explicitly, an opening bid for a philosophical underpinning of something. A school of photography, if you will. It is not the closing bid.
I lean toward fiery language, but you may freely substitute "things I find most interesting are..." into statements that sound like statements of fact, or inflexible demands. It's a manifesto, it's supposed to be strident and uncompromising.
1. The purpose of art in general, and photography in particular, is broadly speaking political. Not merely in the sense of supporting or decrying, say, socialism, but in the sense of exposing wrongs and arguing for rights, in the sense of the-opposite-of-wrongs, and also rights in the sense of moral entitlements.
2. I believe in straight photography. A photograph which can be fairly accused of falsehood has no place in an argument for justice. Therefore, a photograph should look like a photograph and not, say, a painting. It should appear true. Further, photographs should accurately represent what was there in front of the lens. Manipulations of any sort are perfectly acceptable, but only to clarify the essential point of what was actually there, and never to alter the ground truth of the image. That is, a photograph should also be true.
3. I believe in the sequence. One photograph alone is almost without exception unclear, ambiguous, incapable of carrying much meaning. The sequence, by enabling repetition, by enabling the reference of one photograph to another, is infinitely more powerful and is therefore the preferred mode of photographic expression. The purpose being to make arguments which are both strong and coherent, a strong form rather than a weak form must be used. The single image, the collection of greatest hits, these are to be avoided.
4. I believe that the photographic work is best conceived as a kind of sonata, with one or more movements, each composed of multiple themes blending and moving in relation to one another. Themes composed of photographs, but also of words, of drawings, of design elements. I believe that this kind of work has barely begun to develop, and that much can be done to create works with far stronger and more persuasive arguments, far stronger and more persuasive Art, then we currently see in the world.
5. I believe in access. Art which is expensive, hard to obtain, hidden away, cannot well serve its purpose of arguing for a better world. Art must make its argument publicly. This suggests that the proper form for photographic art is not merely the sequence, but also the mass-produced (or mass-producible), and affordable, publication.
Also, send me stuff. Get pissed off, get excited, get motivated, get off your ass.
ETA: If you send me something, I'll both remark on whatever you sent me, and send you something. At least until I run out of somethings to send you.