Jörg Colberg is a photographer, writer, and educator. He spent the first thirty years of his life in Germany (before 1990 in West Germany), where he earned a Ph.D. in physics (theoretical cosmology). During the final years of the so-called dot-com boom, he worked for a US software company on internet technologies and data modelling before moving back to academia. Since 2010, Jörg is a faculty member of the International Limited-Residency MFA Program at Hartford Art School, with an appointment as visiting assistant professor starting in 2012.
Jörg’s approach to photography is informed by a wide variety of influences. For example, as an undergraduate, he spent time working for a research group that focused on optical interferometry and digital image processing (part of that work included trying to salvage the very first images from the Hubble Space Telescope, whose optics initially did not work properly). Later, during his Ph.D. studies, he spent a considerable amount of time visualizing high-performance supercomputer simulations of cosmic evolution.
Jörg is a self-taught photographer. He uses a variety of approaches to image making, including image capture on mostly medium-format film and work with found, archival and/or appropriated imagery.
Since 2002, Jörg has been working on what is now Conscientious Photography Magazine. You can access an Index of the writing here. In the beginning, Conscientious was supposed to be a mere repository of information about individual photographers. Over time, Jörg added new features such as in-depth conversations with photographers and long-form writing about the medium itself. In 2013, Conscientious Photography Magazine was born, which focuses solely on the long-form writing (given that sites like Tumblr or Twitter have made simple photographer profiles or providing links redundant).
Jörg also is a self-taught writer, with very little, if any, patience for the pseudo-intellectual embellishment of essays also known as art speak. Paraphrasing Ludwig Wittgenstein he believes that what can be written can be written in a clear and simple manner.
In addition to publishing his writing on Conscientious, Jörg has contributed essays to a variety of international photography publications, including FOAM Magazine, British Journal of Photography, Creative Review, and many more. He has also written essays for photography monographs such as, for example, Hellen van Meene‘s Tout va disparaître.
The International Limited-Residency MFA Program at Hartford Art School places considerable weight on the photobook. In part because of that, in part because of his own interest in the medium, over the past years Jörg has worked on a large variety photobooks, following the process from the very beginning (finding the concept) to making dummies to producing the final book.
Over the past few years, Jörg has also guest-edited both photography exhibitions and photobooks (see, for example, Observed).
Jörg can be reached via jmcolberg at gmail.com. If you have too much time on your hands, you might enjoy his Twitter feed. Oh, and his name really isn’t Jim, Joel, or Jonathan.