Visual Notes

A blog of visual notes shot and/or processed with a mobile phone.

EYE’EM revolution?

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EYE’EM launched what they called the mobile photography revolution. Nice thing.
I just don’t understand what is so revolutionary about the centerpiece of their
revolution (the website), if you can already do almost all they say you can do there
in … well … Flickr:

(1) Search tags like “iphoneography” and the names of photographers you like, if you want.
(2) Once you have the results you can see the stream by clicking on slideshow. Example:
to get the photostream of the photographers that will be exhibited in September in the
eyephoneography show in Madrid try this search:
“iphoneography AND (justwhatisee OR marcolacivita OR misspixel OR sionfullana)”.
 As you know, also on Flickr you can vote, comment, and order by interesting, recent, etc.
(3) There is no step 3. You don’t need to sign up for a new service or monitor another website.

The only difference is that, based on the ranking, EYE’EM will exhibit some photos.
In the meantime, they will collect a huge amount of shots for free (and maybe one day
you will also have to pay to post on their site).

Is it reasonable to call something a “revolution” when it could have been done by using
Flickr to create a dedicated mobile photography group and move on from there? 

Written by Marco La Civita

July 27th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Posted in Photography

18 Responses to 'EYE’EM revolution?'

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  1. Hi Marco, get your point. But I think you didn’t quite understand the concept. The people are going to choose the photos that will be exhibited. EYE’EM is trying to push forward mobile photography as a new art form.


    27 Jul 10 at 23:25

  2. Flo, the concept is not so complicated. A 3-year-old kid would get it. I just don’t like how EYE’EM implemented it. People could choose from a pool of photos also on Flickr.

    Marco La Civita

    27 Jul 10 at 23:33

  3. That’s totally OK, Marco! But please don’t get us wrong. We are just at the beginning of something. And of course there is still a lot to do and your feedback will encourage us to make it even better. Thanks for that! But are absolutely convinced that our medium deserves the attention to be shown on a site like EYE’EM independently. Love your pictures by the way. Hope you will change your mind soon. We woulb love to welcome you on our site. BEst regards from Berlin. Maybe our next exhibition will change your mind :) I am sure you will like it…


    27 Jul 10 at 23:40

  4. Flo, showing mobile photography on a dedicated (and well designed) site like the EYE’EM one is a very nice thing to do. But even that could be done by feeding the site from a Flickr group, you do know that! Thanks for the invitation, but I won’t change my mind if I need to submit directly to your site and the ranking is popularity based.

    Marco La Civita

    27 Jul 10 at 23:53

  5. Anyway, that’s cool! Still hope EYE’EM will be a huge inspirational tool for you and you stop by from time to time. And of course, happy for honest feedback in the future, Marco!!


    27 Jul 10 at 23:55

  6. Anytime Flo! It is so refreshing to see someone reacting so well to a not-so-positive comment in a community where flattery more than honest comments seems to be the rule.

    Marco La Civita

    28 Jul 10 at 00:03

  7. It’s great to see people working on promoting Mobile Photography. Eyeem did a good work with they first exhibition. And they still work hard.The new site looks great, but I partially agree with Marco, maybe not such a Revolution, at least by the moment. I love to see iphoneography exhibits growing around, but I don’t believe in people curated ones, when it’s only about how many friends or parents you manage to get a vote from.


    28 Jul 10 at 06:04

  8. I just forgot to say that eyeem idea is great (EYE’EM is trying to push forward mobile photography as a new art form ), but I’m not sure which way should it be done. As I said I don’t believe in people curated selections. What about asking art curators, and I mean big ones (Tate, Moma, Macba, Guggenheim, … ), their opinion about the iphoneography / mobile photography movement ?


    28 Jul 10 at 06:52

  9. Jordi and Isabelle, in my opinion popularity ranking is just not the way to go. I understand that if you want to sell something (your platform, your app?) you need to involve (a lot of) people by giving them a contest (and the relative hope of gratification) and the possibility to interact with the content, but there are so many similar examples already: the Hipstamatic contest, the Best Camera gallery, Mostly Lisa Photo Camera + Contest … and their relative and annoying vote-for-me requests in the twitter timeline. What this has to do with pushing mobile photography as an art form or calling it a Revolution is a mystery to me. I prefer more approaches like the first EYE’EM exhibition, the Eyephoneography show, or the i.Phoneography one. And of course if well recognized curators, as the one Jordi suggested, could get interested in such initiatives well, it would be fantastic.

    Marco La Civita

    28 Jul 10 at 14:01

  10. I also agree with Marco… This kind of popularity ranking push mobile art in the amateur contest road instead in a new art form. Great discussion here!


    28 Jul 10 at 12:25

  11. honestly!? I think it is great what Eye’em does and I have been supporting their project from the beginning on, because I think their approach is the most stylish and artistic one out there. (and yes i know tumblr; flickr, posterous etc)Also their exhibition was a great success and i sincerely hope there will be more to come! I was very surprised this morning when I saw the platform they launched, I knew something was coming, but the design exceeded my expectations by far. it looks amazing and i have been uploading pics the whole day :) jej soooo excited. ok, maybe some people dont like that we as the global mobile community are the judges of the next exhibition’s photos, but at least we all have a vote. I think it is important that WE the “normal” individuals who are not the artists, the professional art directors or whatever, but the people who actually make the art also decide who will be exhibited…I guess you can never find the perfect solution for each and every individual, so just be happy that each and everyone of you could be the next great eye behind the winning photo!have a nice day everyone!!!cheersmoni


    28 Jul 10 at 14:24

  12. I agree with Marco and MissPixels… Marco, thanks for this interesting and constructive discussion!

    Mauro Ballabeni

    28 Jul 10 at 14:48

  13. Marco I agree with you. As you say there are many interesting approaches out there. You forgot the iPhoneography exhibition in Centre d’Art laPanera in Lleida, Spain, in October. It will be the first time worlwide that iphoneography opens the doors of a Contemporany Art Museum. This is for me a real revolution, a giant step, opening the doors of art museums, with curators who have a prestige in the art world and get interested in what iphoneographers are doing, not only beacause it is mobile photography but because they are producing art.


    28 Jul 10 at 18:32

  14. Yes Jordi, you are right. I forgot. Maybe because I know so little about it. I know that your wonderful shots are going to be there together with the ones of Sion and others, but I don’t know who the curators are neither the details about the exposition.I also forgot to mention Knox Bronson and his Pixels at an Exhibition. Knox was the first to open the door of an art gallery to photos done with an iPhone.

    Marco La Civita

    28 Jul 10 at 18:56

  15. Marco is right. This is not a question. Art has nothing to do with popularity. It is not dependent on the judgement of masses. Exhibition based on curators decision: (possibly) art. In this case the result is hardly predictable, and the exhibition would be an artistic event. Exhibition based on community ranking: friend seeking. In this case the result is highly predictable, and the exhibition would be a “phonefacebook”.

    Robert Herold

    28 Jul 10 at 20:05

  16. Given the quality of the discussion, I thought it’d be interesting to share how we do it at eyephoneography. Let me just add that the level of sharing, mutual learning and commitment to this art form speaks highly of the human quality of the mobile photography community. I’m delighted to see that a true exchange of opinions and viewpoints can take place within a framework of mutual recognition and admiration. Congratulations to all of you for that!


    28 Jul 10 at 22:40

  17. Hi, I am Attilio Lauria president of the non-profit organization Arteaparte who organized the i.Phoneography contest that Marco mentioned above. I wanted to join the discussion to say that there is indeed a revolution if by revolution we intend literally the breaking of a precedent model and the birth of a new model. Unfortunately though, it cannot be interpreted in the usual positive meaning associated with the term … I would say it is a regressive revolution!In my opinion, introducing a mechanism as the popular vote that does not take in consideration of how one’s will takes form and winks to big numbers, means killing in its infancy the possibility of a serious and thorough theoretical framing of iphoneography. It means confusing a young and promising movement, without important theoretical basis yet, in the vast and undistinguished blob of extemporaneous phenomenalism. The extreme synthesis of the popular vote corresponds normally to a like/don’t like, whereas iphoneography needs to understand if there are – and which they are – its characteristics of linguistic novelty and in which way these can be contaminated and identified with the artistic process.


    29 Jul 10 at 20:45

  18. You started a very valid point Marco, which I totally support. Mass criteria and voting is very amateurish, it looks more like a facebook contest to me.

    Jaime Ferreyros

    31 Jul 10 at 14:59

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