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Jon Levy on Intent, Art and the Vernacular


Back in December I went with Jose Navarro to film an interview with Jon Levy founder and director of Foto8. Foto8 publish the highly recommended biannual magazine of documentary photography 8 and its associated website and run the Host Gallery in London. Jon was very generous with his time and we are working hard to edit the interview into bite-sized pieces. Here is the first episode of what is likely to be a series of five videos.


Posted by author: Mark Lomas
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5 thoughts on “Jon Levy on Intent, Art and the Vernacular

  • I found the documentary rather jumpy in the camera work
    so I was not able to fully grasp the full content of the interview. But what I did grasp I found very interesting
    especially the definition between photography and art which some do not see as one.

  • Tom I’m assuming you mean playback was an issue for you rather than jumpy camera work (its a fixed shot with only 3 fades).
    Try turning off HD and letting the whole video load before playing. Alternatively try playing on Vimeo itself and switching between the html5 and flash players (if your browser supports html5 there will be a link on the right underneath the list of OCA videos).

  • Very informative interview and useful website for those like me with an interest in documentary. Interesting that Jon Levy seemed highly sensitive about the potential criticism that documentary exploits its subjects and that he was also very conscious of the debate about the dividing line between documentary and art photography.

  • Thought provoking comments – very much want to hear more. Photojournalism/ documentary is one of the oldest drivers for the photographer (think of US Civil War photos) and even though video has opened up the possibilities enormously, the power of the single image remains – remember the Vietnam war image of a badly burnt young girl running down the road after a napalm attack.

  • Glad its been useful for you. Jon is really knowledgable and had some interesting things to say. Often when filming i’m concentrating so much on monitoring I miss the points people are making. But this time i really had to force myself not to join in with the conversations Jon and Jose were having.
    In the videos we have coming up soon Jon talks more about the photojournalist/artist debate and in another discusses technology such as video and multimedia (and yes those Civil War photos even get mentioned!),

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