Jim Lewis

on Bryan Anselm

An excerpt from DEAR DAVE, 25

Photography, more than any other medium, is transformed by changes in technology, so much so that it can be hard to distinguish between the art and the equipment. Writing goes from the pen to the typewriter to the word processor, and they have each have their tone, but the differences are very subtle, and take place over centuries. Dance is dance, and, barring some unforeseen change in human anatomy, always will be. Painting has acquired exactly one significant new tool in the past few centuries: acrylics, which became widely available in the 60s; music is a little more malleable, as recording techniques and synthesized tones become more elaborate and powerful. But photography seems to undergo great changes every few decades: quicker shutter speeds, color film, SLRs and little Leicas, digital sensors and Photoshop. They transform the kinds of pictures that are possible. The technological tail wags the aesthetic dog.