Photography Is Magic

By Charlotte Cotton

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8 x 10 1/3 inches 384 pages, 311 four-color images Paperback with flaps 978-1-59711-331-1 August 2015
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“By considering contemporary photographic practices through the lens of magic, this book has a particular take on the current state of photography’s material presence — its status as a cultural material — within art.”    - Charlotte Cotton


With images and texts by Michele Abeles, Takaaki Akaishi, Lotta Antonsson, Walead Beshty, Lucas Blalock,Andrey Bogush, Brian Bress, Bianca Brunner, Stefan Burger, Antoine Catala, Phil Chang, Talia Chetrit, Joshua Citarella, Sara Cwynar, Bryan Dooley, Jessica Eaton, Shannon Ebner, Marten Elder, Jason Evans,Sam Falls, Brendan Fowler, Victoria Fu,Daniel Gordon, Darren Harvey-Regan, Leslie Hewitt, Nancy de Holl, John Houck, Go Itami, Rachel de Joode, Farrah Karapetian, Matt Keegan, Annette Kelm, Soo Kim, Yuki Kimura, Josh Kline, Lucas Knipscher,Owen Kydd, Josh Kolbo, Taisuke Koyama,Nico Krebs and Taiyo Onorato, EladLassry, Brandon Lattu, John Lehr, Anthony Lepore, Alexandra Leykauf, Matt Lipps, Florian Maier-Aichen, Phillip Maisel, Annie MacDonell, Emmeline de Mooij, Carter Mull, Nerhol - (Ryuta Iida and YoshihisaTanaka), Katja Novitskova, Arthur Ou, Matthew Porter, Timur Si-Qin, Eileen Quinlan, Jon Rafman, Sean Raspet, Clunie Reid, Abigail Reynolds, Will Rogan, Asha Schechter, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Shirana Shahbazi, Daniel Shea, Erin Shirreff, Elisa Sighicelli, Brea Souders, Kate Steciw, BatiaSuter, Yosuke Takeda, Miguel Ángel Tornero,Sara VanDerBeek, Artie Vierkant, Anne deVries, Hannah Whitaker, Charlie White, Lindsey White, Chris Wiley, Letha Wilson, and Amir Zaki.


Photography Is Magic is a critical publication that surveys the practices of over eighty artists, all of whom are engaged with experimental approaches to photographic ideas, set within the contemporary image environment, framed by Web 2.0. The book contains a substantial essay by Charlotte Cotton and statements from all the contributing artists. The over three hundred image sequence represents the scope of photographic possibilities at play within contemporary creative practices. From Michele Abeles and Walead Beshty to Daniel Gordon and Matt Lipps, Cotton has selected artists who are consciously reframing photographic practices in the post-Internet age. Photography Is Magic provides an engaging physical experience - designed by Harsh Patel - for younger photo aficionados, students, and anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary photography. 


Charlotte Cotton is an author and curator. She has been at the forefront of the appraisal of contemporary art photography for over twenty years. She has held curatorial positions at institutions including the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Photographers’ Gallery in London and the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has been a visiting scholar and critic at institutions including The New School for Design, NYU and SVA New York; CCA, San Francisco; and Otis College, Los Angeles. She is the author of The Photograph as Contemporary Art and founder of Words Without Pictures.