National Geographic Archives Cracked

Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden, c. 1894-1906. One photograph of a series illustrating the Greek myths.

The New York Times reveals that the National Geographic Society is entertaining the idea of opening up its archive of more than 11 million images to the fine-art market for the first time. Maura Mulvihill of the society recognizes photography’s (specifically, photojournalism) emerging role in the fine art world.

For many years, the collection has only been accessible to a few people. Mulvihill is excited to expose the vintage black-and-white prints and later color images “richly documenting the life of the 20th century, from Uganda to the Mississippi Delta to remote lamaseries near the Mongolian border.” National Geographic is seeking private and institutional collectors for the archive.

photo: One of a series to illustrate the Greek myths. Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden, circa 1894-1906.

ich verstehe nicht

men who knewCologne city officials knew the archives were sinking–taking in water for months and noticeably sinking in early february–but they didn’t notify the proper authorities.

Those investigating how the building packed with unique cultural treasures collapsed, killing two people, heard on Friday night that the ground underneath the building had started letting water into the foundations last September – and the building was shown to be subsiding in February.

That’s some sad shit, let’s hope it doesn’t happen to the world economy.

(our mention of the archives collapse a few weeks ago)


What do you do when your alma mater sells off its entire art museum to private interests? Start a facebook group.

Brandeis recently announced the sale of its Rose Art Museum, much to the surprise of the Museum’s director and entire staff, who received the notice an hour before the school went public with the announcement. It seems that many of the University’s prime donors got Madoff’d, you see. Here’s director Michael Rush’s response.

The New York Times also had the Museum’s back.

Brandeis President and D’bag Jehuda Reinharz issued a public apology and, according to the Exhibitionist blog, the Museum “as it exists today will eventually cease to operate and instead will be turned into an educational center for Brandeis students and faculty.” Sounds like some vague public private public partnership and partnering language to us!

Field Recorders’ Collective Recording Collective

This is a private/public synthersis we want to get behind–a collective (read: record label) providing access to private collections of old timey hill music and photographs, complete with digital mastering, and so forth. But maybe we spoke too soon…

They talk a smooth game:

…the Field Recorders’ Collective hopes to “democratize” these collections and see them form a public archive. This is opposed to seeing them disappear in the “black hole” of university and government archives which are, at best, difficult to gain entrance to or at worse, only for those with credentials for accessing them. We hope you will find the FRC releases an important addition to your traditional music library.

So, a “public” archive is created through private consumption, and public archives are strawmanned as inaccessible.