CM19 Prescreening – What Matters to Photographers Today?

Images: Critical Mass Student Scholarship Recipients

As Critical Mass prescreeners finish up their jurying (finalists to be announced shortly!), I would like to share some prescreening observations on the entries this year in some loose categories. This is not an all-inclusive list and no content has more weight than any other. The intent of this list is to show what topics and influences contemporary photographers find meaningful in this specific point in history. How are our societal shifts and current events being documented? How are artists pushing the limits of the medium? Many of the topics below are familiar ones – how are the artists bringing their own visual interpretations to the stories? Who are photographers influenced by?

Submissions from: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Iceland, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Australia, Norway, South Korea, Russia, Israel.

Emotional States/Human Experience: Grief, Loss of Family Member, Abusive Relationships, Healing, Obesity, Miscarriage, Sexual Desire, Sexual Identity, Personal Mythologies, Death, Loneliness/Solitude, Betrayal, Separation Anxiety, Guilt, General Anxiety, Aging, Heartbreak, Depression, Postpartum Depression, Rape, Gender Experiences, Female Identity/Male Identity, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Inner Child, Childhood, Memories (people and places), Cult Identity, Dreams, Fear, Human Relationship Complexity, Faith/Lack of Faith, Inner Landscapes, Dementia, Pregnancy, Isolation/Belonging, Solastagia, Therapy, Addiction

Specific Topics: Illegal Mining, Campfires, Oceanscapes, Political Outrage, Political Inequities, Compression of Time, Winter Light, Time/Decay, Weather Events, Global Warming, Eating Out Alone, Waffle House Vistas, Architecture, Mining Dumps, Burlesque/Drag Shows, All Things Nature, Socio-Political Topics, The Idea of Home, Bachelor Party Psychology, Parallel Universes, Animal Behaviors, Incarceration, Segregation, The Pearl Industry, Disguised Cell Phone Towers, Scientific Technologies, Rural America, Missile Sites, Race Tracks, Veterans, Mausoleums, Evangelical Marriage, Traditional Marriage, Gun Violence/Control, Twin Daughters, Twin Houses, Black Masculinity, Holocaust Remembrance, American Bedrooms, Post-War Landscapes, General Landscapes, Woods, Trees, Botanica, Climate Change, Ecosystems, Yards, Consumer Culture, Ferrets, Hurricane Aftermath, Disaster Recovery, Ecosystems, Tension between Truth and Fiction, Political Ugliness, Luxury Item Packaging, Shame Killings, Funeral Home Viewing Rooms, Pay Phones, Topoanalysis, Professional Wrestling, Splendor in Decay, Incarceration, Equus, Geneology, Impermanence of Life, Macular Degeneration, Carwash Interiors, Idea of Home, Chefs’ Cutting Boards, American Dream, Cruise Ships, Amelia Earhart Disappearance, Surgery Artifacts, Sibling with Autism, Quarters, Animal Rights, Science, Environment, Military, Lava Flows, the Male Gaze,  Grand Central Terminal, Borderlines, Elvis Presley, Death Poems, Buddhism, Agriculture, Family, Passage of Time

Socio-Specific Groups: Quarry Workers, Refugees, Transgender Community, Migrant Artifacts, Witches, Punk Rock Culture, Irish Travelers, African-American Cowboys, Surfers, Female Fighter Pilots, Falconers, Drag Artists, Latina Women, Widows/Widowers, Vogue-ing Balls, Masai Culture, Homeless Camps

Geographical Places: Tokyo, Cuba, Ukraine, Japan, Small Town America, Rural America, Urban America, American West, American South, Florida Panhandle, Uganda South Africa, India, Alaska, Iceland, Burma, Niagra Falls, Paris, Crete, Los Angeles, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Connecticut River, Hawaii, Nicaragua, Death Valley, Silicon Valley, Midwest, Newport Beach, Salton Sea, Saharan Desert

Creative Influences/Inspirations: F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Turrell, Elaine Scarry, George Elliot, Delmore Schwartz, Carl Jung, Francis Bacon, Oscar Wilde, Sihk Captain America, Atget, Carleton Watkins, T.S. Eliot, Dante, Robert MacFarlane, Clarence John Laughlin, Dr. Suess, Gregory Crewdson, Caravaggio, Mary Oliver, Anna Atkins, Robert Adams, Abstract Expressionist Painters, Louis Baltz, Robert Heinecken, Julia Margaret Cameron, Ingmar Bergman, Ernest Hemingway, Gerhardt Richter, Vermeer, Paul Strand, John Muir, Edward Steichen, T.S. Eliot