Joachim Schmid
But Is It Art?

The internet is flooded with billions of photographs, many of which are hosted on photo sharing sites like Flickr. With millions more added every day, we often wonder why people decide to take these pictures, why they save them, why they put them on public display. Studying the captions and descriptions of these photographs we see a variety of reasons for their existence. But is it Art? is a new addition to my series of books exploring the realm of online photo hosting sites. The book contains images that are screenshots, specifically from the website Flickr. Each image shows people’s attempts at creating photography “after”, “based on”, “in the style of” or “inspired by” well-known artists, to varying degrees of success. As individual attempts these samples may be charming, hilarious or bold (and sometimes embarrassing), as a group they raise more interesting questions of originality and authorship.

ABotM seal of approval

Self published
20 x 13 cm, 120 pp, b/w POD, perfect-bound, 2010
Open edition
12 €

Available from the artist.

Joachim Schmid (* 1955) is a Berlin-based artist. He has been working with found photographs since the early 1980s. In 1990 he founded the Institut zur Wiederaufbereitung von Altfotos (The Institute for the Reprocessing of Used Photographs). His works have been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions. His work is included in numerous collections, including the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, Fonds National d‘Art Contemporain, Paris, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, Museo de arte contemporánea de Vigo, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. His publications include Erste allgemeine Altfotosammlung (1991) and Bilder von der Strasse.