Words Without Pictures was originally conceived by curator Charlotte Cotton as a means of creating spaces for discourse around current issues in photography. Every month for a year, beginning in November 2007, an artist, educator, critic or curator was invited to contribute a short unillustrated essay about an aspect of emerging photography. Each piece was available on the Words Without Pictures website for one month and was accompanied by a discussion forum focused on its specific topic. Over the course of its month-long “life,” each essay received both invited and unsolicited responses from a wide range of interested parties. All of these essays, responses and other provocations are gathered together here. Previously issued as a print-on-demand title, we are pleased to present Words Without Pictures to the trade for the first time as part of the Aperture Ideas series. The contributors are Amy Adler, George Baker, Christopher Bedford, Walead Beshty, Sarah Charlesworth, Charlotte Cotton, John Divola, Shannon Ebner, Jason Evans, Harrell Fletcher, Paul Graham, Leslie Hewitt, Darius Himes, Soo Kim, Sze Tsung Leong, Miranda Lichtenstein, Sharon Lockhart, Allan McCollum, Kevin Moore, Carter Mull, Marisa Olson, Arthur Ou, Anthony Pearson, Michael Queenland, Allen Ruppersberg, Alex Slade, A.L. Steiner, Penelope Umbrico, James Welling, Charlie White, Mark Wyse and Amir Zaki.
Excerpt from the essay “Who Cares About Books?” by Darius Himes