Martha Rosler
[Artist, b. 1943, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 Just going out on a foray to assemble a collection of street trophies about this or that running social sore can’t be effective—and never was. 

Danny Lyon
[Photographer, b. 1942, New York, lives in Ulster County, New York.]

 The sign at the entrance to my gym locker room says, “no cell phones please, cell phones are cameras.” They are not. A camera is a Nikon or a Leica or Rolleiflex, and when you strike someone with one, they know they have been hit with something substantial. 

Allen Ginsberg
[Poet and writer, b. 1926, Newark, New Jersey, d. 1997, New York.]

 Whoever controls the media—the images—controls the culture. 

Lewis Hine
[Photographer, writer, and reformer, b. 1874, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, d. 1940, New York.]

 Perhaps you are weary of child labor pictures. Well, so are the rest of us, but we propose to make you and the whole country so sick and tired of the whole business that when the time for action comes, child-labor pictures will be records of the past. (1909) 

Walter Benjamin
[Philosopher, critic, and theorist, b. 1892, Berlin, d. 1940, Port Bou, France.]

 What we must demand from the photographer is the ability to put such a caption beneath his picture as will rescue it from the ravages of modishness and confer upon it a revolutionary use value. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 In printing the photographs of the white-gowned Klan members I ran into considerable difficulty. There were several with uncovered faces and these faces were vividly dark in comparison to the white-white of the gowns that it was almost impossible to keep them from appearing black. I am terribly sorry. (Apology to his editor about images from his 1951 photo essay on the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.)  

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 The camera doesn’t rape, or even possess, though it may presume, intrude, trespass, distort, exploit, and, at the farthest reach of metaphor, assassinate—all activities that, unlike the sexual push and shove, can be conducted from a distance, and with some detachment. 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 A photographer can describe a better world only by better seeing the world as it is in front of him. 
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