No, this is not an entry about the conference I went to last week (even though that was about Cosmic Voids). Instead, this is something that I have come across quite frequently, unfortunately way too often. For example, today I was looking for links to the work of Corinne Noordenbos, a Dutch photographer whose portraits of Alzheimer patient deserve wider exposure. I did my usual Google search and came back empty-handed (and lest I get emails, yes, I do look at more than just the first page of results). Maybe I should add another category here, namely the category of people I’d link to if there actually was at least a single web page to link to.
There is quite the number of those photographers. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not only photographers who have been around for a while and who haven’t embraced the internet, yet. I remember I saw the results of a big German photo competition for young photographers a little while ago, and if I remember correctly, most of the people I wanted to link to did not exist online. I don’t mean to say that everybody should get their own website and “do the internet thing”. What I do intend to say here is that it is very important to keep in mind that there is a large number of photographers out there who will not appear here simply because there’s no link.
Plus, if we are to shift our cultural memory away from from books and towards the internet (which I hope will happen only in part) then the problem that, I think, Alec mentioned in one of his posts will only get worse: Photographers whose (rare) books can be maybe found in libraries but who are otherwise basically forgotten will become even more invisible. I know this sounds like the French philosophy I was calling bullshit yesterday - what I mean to express, quite clumsily, is that if there is a book at least there is a small chance someone will look at it.
PS: Just as an aside, I have the feeling this is not a new problem. Maybe someone versed in the history of art can email me to enlighten me about the number of artists that are now almost entirely forgotten, say from some period (like, for example, the Golden Age in Holland) - if such an estimate exists.