Later today, we're going to announce this year's Critical Mass Top 50. Tomorrow, I think, we'll announce the Book Award Finalists. The Book Award Finalists will be asked to submit a proposal and from those, two books will be selected for publication. Everyone involved, all 200+ Jurors and 593 photographers who entered, will receive those books once they're produced. You have all come together to make this happen.
It's always a little disconcerting when it comes down to these announcements, because it makes the whole thing feel a little too much like a competition. In all honesty, the results are secondary to the process. The list and the books are the cherry on top. That is, what photolucida strives to do is put good photography in front of people who use good photography; with the primary goal of letting photographers from anywhere in the world get their work in front of curators, editors, publishers, etc. who may find work for their own needs. The ultimate goal isn't this list, or the books that we'll put out, but the shows, publications, and good old-fashioned word of mouth and inspiration that comes out of this truly unique program.
Before the results are announced, we want to remind you about how this process works. This year, 593 photographers submitted work. An initial pre-screening took place with a jury of 20+ members to narrow the field down to 175 Finalists. In addition, 6 photographers from Italy were given "scholarships" to submit at no cost, based on the referrals of curators in the region. That makes 181 Finalists and over 200 jurors.
I stress all this because when the results are announced, there's always that initial glee or disappointment that comes along with the inevitable inclusion or exclusion. But just so we're all clear on this… when the scores are all tallied up and averaged out, do you know what the difference is between the lowest score on the list and the highest one that didn't make the cut?
Now, I'm no mathematician, but I can tell you that this number is small enough that out of 200+ jurors, that means that maybe one juror liked one project just enough more to put it over the line. Just because a Finalist's name isn't on the list of the Top 50, doesn't mean that their work hasn't been appreciated by some of the world's best curators, collectors, publishers, fellow photographers, etc. It simply means that when it comes down to the numbers, group consensus liked it a little less. In one case, .01314411684 less.
Within the next few weeks, we'll gather up and send out any written comments left for photographers from jurors. All jurors are given the opportunity to leave written feedback. While the recipients of these comments are obviously confidential, I'm going to go through and pick and choose a few comments that were left for participants who aren't among the Top 50, but as you can tell, still found some fans.
An amazing body of work… this is career making work.
Gorgeous palette and lighting.
Some of the best work being shown today.
I like these, in fact I may have a client for them.
hi! I am going to be in touch with you this week about showing in December.
I would definitely be interested in speaking with you further about your project.
Truly some of the most refreshing work I have seen in a long time.
Lovely, sensitive series. Thanks!
Beautiful, and occasionally stunning.
Please send me more info and jpgs about this series. it is really beautiful. haunting.
Absolutely am in love with this stunning body of work. Thank you for sharing this!
I like this work a lot. I'm working on a project currently titled "_____________" in which I'm thinking about _________________________. I've definitely bookmarked your work for this.
Exceptional work. Great subject and well presented. I think you are missing a zero from your pricing.
very cool project. definitely will try to do something with this.
Interested in this for _____________.
Glad you submitted. Portfolio looks terrific. Keep me on your mailing list please.
Seriously, I just chose names at random. Let's keep it all in perspective… results later in the day.