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Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects The Iceberg by Giorgio Di Noto as Book of the Week.
The Iceberg By Giorgio Di Noto.  
Edition Patrick Frey, 2018.
Christian Michael Filardo selects The Iceberg, by Giorgio Di Noto, from Edition Patrick Frey, as Book of the Week.

"We exist in a world in which we constantly consume. A complex and intricate global economy built of numbers and figures, constantly morphing and changing. Within our world, there are sub-worlds and cultures in which we may, or may not, choose to participate in. Often, if we choose not to participate in these worlds they become abstract and distant from our understanding. These subcultures form their own languages and communicate in a way foreign to those who exist outside of their realm of thought. In Giorgio Di Noto’s The Iceberg, we turn our gaze to the dark web where individuals push beyond the surface of the Internet as basic users know it. They communicate in the shadows, generating their own economy, disappearing and reappearing from the murky obscured networks in which they exist.

In Di Noto’s monograph we are presented with a plethora of mostly blank white pages, occasionally some black text, and grey subdued clip art style images. It all appears rather inconspicuous on the surface. However, Di Noto offers us the ability to take a closer look via a companion Ultra Violet flashlight that comes with The Iceberg. When the light is shone upon the pages of the book, colors are revealed along with many latent images and ghosts that seem to emerge from between the pages. While it might seem like a gimmick, the production of the book is a nice conceptual work in and of itself. The images are interesting as a language even if they aren’t always interesting as pictures.

Really, what Di Noto is doing is using photography as a vessel to represent vanishing and fleeting communication from an environment that few rarely see. These pictures represent private transactions, secret dialogue, and illegal activity. Most of all, they give emotion to the online experience that few often associate with World Wide Web. Drab stock photos are morphed into secret portals that could mean anything and hold an infinite number of consequences and possibilities.

The Iceberg feels limitless and while it isn’t what many tend to perceive as photography, it adds a much needed conceptual armature to the conversation of contemporary fine art photography. Di Noto grasps his knowledge of a subculture and uses it to propel often meaningless images into the realm of high art. It’s as if he’s turned fool’s gold into real gold and in doing so, he pushes the boundaries of the way we see. He gives us access to codes we didn’t know existed and opens our eyes to something foreign and beyond us. If you’re interested at all in photography as a visual language, then The Iceberg is a book you must experience." — Christian Michael Filardo

Purchase Book

The Iceberg By Giorgio Di Noto. Edition Patrick Frey, 2018.
The Iceberg By Giorgio Di Noto. Edition Patrick Frey, 2018.

Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino American photographer, curator, and composer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year they released their second book The Voyeur’s Gambit through Lime Lodge. Currently, they help run the gallery and performance space Etiquette and write critically for photo-eye and Phroom. Filardo is the current shipping manager at photo-eye Bookstore.