Think about how many images are uploaded to the cloud every day. You couldn’t count how many you see every day between all your devices. How often do you communicate through an image rather than a text or call?
Those are all interesting ways to think about how we experience images now, and ones that the Missoula Art Museum staff considered while they arranged their new show, according to John Calsbeek, the associate curator.
Google the names of “Imogen Cunningham” and Lee Friedlander,” if you like, but the curators would rather you come down to see “Omnipresent: Photographs from the MAM Collection,” in person, where the varied techniques and large scale are obvious and the rabid pace of digital consumption gets set aside for a moment.
“An artist making a photographic image — the intent is completely different,” he said.
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The photographs are an opportunity to take a moment to step back from the way that we consume images — through backlit screens, often small ones, in feeds that encourage rapid response and movement on to the next thing. Consuming as much as possible without digesting, and