alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

HumanKind: Interview with Alfredo Cramerotti

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on November 15, 2010

Introducing Alfredo Cramerotti, Associate Curator of Format International Photo Festival, Editor of the “Critical Photography” book series, and a member of the jury of “HumanKind”.

“HumanKind” is the New York Photo Festival’s second juried photo invitational (following the smash success of Capture Brooklyn), ongoing now and open until November 28, 2010

For more information, please visit

HumanKind – Meet the Jury

Posted in nEws and rEleases by alcramer on November 5, 2010

HumanKind – Meet the Jury

New York Photo Festival November 1, 2010 – 11:46 am


The New York Photo Festival is proud to announce the jury of HumanKind – our upcoming juried photo exhibition, opening at the powerHouse Arena on December 17.

Meet the Jury

James Estrin – Co-Editor, New York Times Lens Blog
Alisa Wolfson – Design Director, Leo Burnett, Chicago
Marc PrüstPhotography Consultant
Alfredo Cramerotti – Associate Curator, Format International Photo Festival & Editor, Critical Photography book series
Dr. Christos Lynteris – Social Anthropology Department, University of St Andrews, UK
Sam Barzilay – Festival Director, New York Photo Festival

HumanKind – Accepting submissions until November 28, 2010

To enter the contest, please visit

James Estrin is a Senior Staff Photographer for the New York Times and co-editor of the New York Times Lens blog. He started at the Times in 1987. He is also an adjunct professor at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

Alisa Wolfson is the Design Director at Leo Burnett, Chicago. Over the last 15 years, she has worked on projects for Hallmark, Caesar’s Palace, Kelloggs, McDonalds, Crate and Barrel, The Joffrey Ballet and Archeworks. Alisa started her career as a Senior Designer at VSA Partners and then at Interface Americas. She studied Art History at Michigan State University and completed post-graduate work at the Yale Summer Program in Switzerland. She has been recognized by the Type Directors Club of America, The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Critique Magazine, Print Magazine and Communication Arts.

In 2008, Alisa was selected to present her work at the AIGA Fresh Lecture series as one of three emerging Chicago Designers. She is also the Design Director for Lampo, a nonprofit that presents experimental music and intermedia events.

Marc Prüst (1975) studied International Relations and Japanese language in the Netherlands and Japan. During his studies he discovered his love for photography, and after graduation he started working as Project Manager for the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam, travelling and setting up exhibitions all over the world. In 2004 he became head of the Exhibition Department and when, in 2005, World Press Photo celebrated its 50th anniversary, Marc was given the responsibility for the exhibition Things As They Are; 50 Years of Photo Journalism in Context. He worked in close cooperation with curator Christian Caujolle and editor Chris Boot on both the exhibition and the award winning publication with the same name. In early 2007, Caujolle gave him the opportunity to come and work for Agence VU’ in Paris, where he was mainly responsible for the international cultural activities of the agency. Currently Prüst is active as photography consultant and curator. In that capacity he teaches, creates exhibitions, edits books and portfolios, and advises photographers on their work and marketing.

Marc works in close cooperation with photographers, with the goal of telling the photographer’s story, to recreate through the images the things the photographer wants to say. By getting to know the person behind the camera, the aim is to create the story and the presentation fitting to the work.

Alfredo Cramerotti is a writer, curator and artist based in the UK. His cultural practice explores the relationship between reality and representation across a variety of media and collaborations such as photography, contemporary art, TV, radio, publishing, internet, media festivals, writing, teaching and exhibition curating.

Among his recent research and curatorial activity: Co-curator, Manifesta 8 European biennial of contemporary art (2009-2011); curator, QUAD Derby and associate curator FORMAT international Photography Festival (2008-present); co-curator, CPS Chamber of Public Secrets (2004-present) and AGM Annual General Meeting (2003-present).

University teaching positions include the University of Westminster London, University of Derby, Nottingham Trent University, DAI Dutch Art Institute and ArtEZ Institute of the Arts (Holland). External Examiner MA Curating Contemporary Art Royal College of Art London.

Author of Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform without Informing (2009) as well as numerous specialist articles in international art, media and literary magazine. Editor of the book series Critical Photography with the publisher Intellect Books. Operator of the blogs Media Geographies, alcramer as well as the group Video essay on Vimeo.

Dr Christos Lynteris is a social anthropologist currently working at the Department of Social Anthropology of the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where he received both his undergraduate and doctoral training under a departmental scholarship. Dr Lynteris has recently presented a series of papers on Chinese epidemiology at conferences and seminars across the U.K. and is currently researching conflicting technologies of the self implicated in the rise of the barefoot doctor movement in China, a subject on which he will be completing a book as Residential Fellow at the Centro Incontri Umani in Ascona, Switzerland, during the first half of 2011.

Dr Lynteris is a co-editor of the peer reviewed anthropological journal ‘Anthropology + Materialism’ the first issue of which will appear in the following spring. Dr Lynteris is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Sam Barzilay is the Director – and a founding member – of the New York Photo Festival. In past lives, he has been a curator, a visual artist, and a social documentary photographer. In 2007, his collaborative work on collective responsibility and the consumption of violence was the focus of a 3-month exhibition by the Oslo ByMuseum in Norway.

He is currently residing in New York City, awaiting marching orders from the voices in his head.


Posted in shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian], Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on December 10, 2007

Is it really true that knowledge is something superior to other ‘goods’ of life? That is – by far – the most desirable of things? Having the access to an item may represent an advantage; even if is not a goal per se, but rather a tool. The ultimate aim of mankind is happiness, not goods: on this we might all agree. Now, what about knowledge? It seems that is the only good which don’t bring, along with its satisfaction, some disadvantages.

Let’s make two examples: in medicine, for instance: the fact that humans can cure themselves from flu, it’s definitely an advantage. But it also bring the need to cure themselves from any other type of illnesses, even those that once where not contemplated, those that we didn’t care about, because they could not be considered in terms of advantage/disadvantage, but as facts of life. Now, the fact that we can save our life from flu brings also the need to save ourselves from all other types of illness. If we cannot satisfy this need, we perceived it as a disadvantage. The threshold of happiness has been moved forward.

Same thing with transportation: when cars didn’t exist, they couldn’t solve all the problems, which they solve today. But now a car has become the base, without which one has a disadvantage. A car is, so to say, the base to be happy (take it not literally), and once achieved this basic need, we will look forward to ‘step up’ to the next one, maybe a bigger car, or maybe two cars in the family, and so on. This is valid for all the items and services of technical progress: from the satisfaction of a need, springs up immediately other needs to satisfy that we didn’t have before.

The degree of happiness doesn’t depend on which step of the social ladder we are: everyone can feel happy or sad at whatever social level. We cannot say that humanity in the past was happier or sadder than today. Reading, for instance, the ancient texts, it seems that the level of happiness was more or less the same, even with far less items and technological progress.

The fact is that happiness is achievable only in the brief moment of acquisition of an item, or a service: when one was ill, and is cured; when one needed a car, and got it. The only brief lapse of happiness is attainable in the passage from one state to the other, and not from the fact of being in one state. After that, we immediately start to perceive the need of going further onto the next level. That means, the satisfaction of a need brings always the disadvantage of creating another need.

Regarding our first concern, knowledge, it seems that it is immune from such a thing: to know something is a linear process, it doesn’t bring to us the t unbearable feeling of having to progress to the next level. But it does something else. If it’s true that the less one knows, the better s/he lives (because the more one knows, the more s/he perceives the bad things of life), it’s also true that knowledge is something that once achieved, it cannot be undone. To put it in simple terms: we cannot go back to a previous state of ignorance, because we don’t want to. Knowledge is an irreversible (linear) process: who knows, wants not to know less. Nobody wants to decrease his or her level of knowledge, even if it would bring a major happiness. We can try for ourselves: let’s think about a happy person with less knowledge, less acculturated than we are, and then let’s ask ourselves if we would exchange with him or her: we wouldn’t. We are not able to renounce to our knowledge.

No matter its relationship with happiness, knowledge is a progressive entity, it’s ‘oriented’, so to say: it’s not neutral; humans don’t want to renounce to it, whatever it brings along with, even unhappiness. The good thing, on the other hand, is that it doesn’t originate other needs: it’s a type of acquisition, which is more stable. But as soon as we know more, we would never accept not to have it.

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