Alec Soth's Archived Blog

September 6, 2007

Quiz: Name the senior

Filed under: artists,education,quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 3:11 pm

Back to School week continues with a pop quiz. Name this senior:

August 27, 2007


Filed under: goof,jump the sandwich,quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 10:26 am

A photography professor recently asked me how I was able to find time for this blog. The reason, I speculated, was that I wasn’t a photography professor. Teaching seems to draw from the same well as blogging. And after two weeks at the San Francisco Art Institute, my well is just about dry.

Please bear with me. It might take a couple of months to recover. Nevertheless, I promised to grade one last assignment: Jump the Sandwich

The goal of my recent sandwich jump critique was to push participants toward a looser style. Jens Holzapfel responded with an excellent version of ‘Munching by the Mississippi’:

photo by Jens Holzapfel

A couple more loose entries:

Monte Cristo sandwich plus Foreigner’s “Juke Box Hero” (photo by Chase Allgood)

photo by Nicolaprincipato

photo by Michael Larky

Initially Michael Larky thought the photographer was supposed to do the jumping. I love the result. It looks like a picture Lise Sarfati might take while tripping:

photo by Michael Larky

Shawngust ignored my encouragement of looseness and made a picture that was tight in more ways than one:

photo by Shawn Gust

This seems to be a mini-trend in sandwich jumping photography:

photo by Guy Batey

As with my students in San Francisco, the sandwich jumpers turned my theories and expectations upside down. I’m not an enormous fan of either Duane Michaels or Francesca Woodman, but when Marissa Long and Andy McMillan put them together like slices of bread in a mystical sandwich (with the cat as ham and the hand shadow as cheese) the result is pure photographic magic. And before you ask, no, they didn’t use Photoshop to achive this effect.

Dear readers, here is your 2007 JTS winner:

photo by Marissa Long and Andy McMillan

  • To see all of the entries, go here

August 12, 2007

Assignment: Jump the…

Filed under: goof,jump the sandwich,quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 11:12 pm

The Urban Dictionary defines the term Jump the Shark as:

To reach the point where the popularity of a show, movie, musician, or any other pop culture icon declines in popularity. Original meaning was the point when a television series shows it has run out of ideas and must resort to stunts to retain viewer interest (refers to an episode of The 1960’s TV show, “Happy Days” where Fonz jumps over a shark while water skiing, see also Jump the Couch).

After last week’s Flickr fireworks, I might just be ready to make the leap. But for the next couple of weeks I’m going to be teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute. Since I won’t have much time for the blog, I thought I’d hand out an assignment. I’m going to give the same assignment to my students in SFAI:


One of the fascinating things about Flickr is the phenomenon of Flickr groups. A couple of my favorites are Girls Eating Sandwiches and Bed Jumpers:

photos by A.R.E. (left) and Mirandala (right)

Your assignment, if you choose to accept it:

1) Photograph a woman* eating a sandwich** while jumping*** onto a bed.
2) Post the picture**** here:
3) I will award a prize to my favorite assignment.

*I will consider men with long hair, men wearing high heels or men who wear panties and lingerie
**Extra points will be given for grilled cheese sandwiches and/or UK sandwiches
*** I will consider this activity as an alternative to jumping
****Diptychs will be considered

July 4, 2007


Filed under: quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 7:05 pm

I recently challenged readers to critique 21 artists. Grant Ernhart won the prize, but I have no choice but to give Rachel Hawthorn a runner-up prize for completeing an entire website devoted to this challenge! Hats of to Rachel and Grant for their great work.

June 27, 2007

Quiz: Name the Magnum photographer

Filed under: Magnum,quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 9:13 pm

May 3, 2007


Filed under: quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 3:05 pm

Name the photographer:


April 23, 2007


Filed under: media,quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 10:31 pm

Textbooks covered in blood, Photo by Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty


#1) The photograph above was taken following the brutal murder of dozens of college students and professors. Where did this horrific event take place?

A) Blacksburg, Virginia
B) Baghdad, Iraq

#2) For whom did George Bush recently order flags to be flown at half-staff?

A) The 33 victims of Seung Hui Cho
B) The 3312 U.S. troops that have died in the Iraq war and the 337 in Afghanistan.


#1) B. In January, Baghdad’s Mustansiriya University sufferred a double suicide bombing that killed at least 70 people, including students, faculty, and staff. A month later, another suicide bomber struck at Mustansiriya, killing 40.

#2) A. Today an Army sergeant complained about the U.S. flag being flown at half-staff at the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for those killed at Virginia Tech. The same honor has not been given to fallen U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

February 7, 2007

Quiz answers

Filed under: quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 8:09 am

I’m home from the first leg of a photographic triathlon. While I was gone I posted a Quiz. Readers worked together and came awfully close to solving all twenty-four answers. How did you figure out Nikki Sixx! Unfortunately Ric Ocasek and Tipper Gore proved too difficult:

A. Andy Summers
B. Brendan Fraser
C. Bryan Adams
D. Carmen Electra
E. David Byrne
F. David Lynch
G. Dennis Hopper
H. Graham Nash
I. Gus Van Sant
J. Hedi Slimane
K. Helena Christensen
L. Henry Winkler
M. Jeff Bridges
N. Karl Lagerfeld
O. Kenny Rogers
P. Kyle MacLachlan
Q. Leonard Nimoy
R. Linda McCartney
S. Lou Reed
T. Matthew Modine
U. Nikki Sixx
V. Ric Ocasek
W. Tipper Gore
X. Viggo Mortensen

January 21, 2007

Quiz: Name the photographer

Filed under: quizes & assignments — alecsothblog @ 3:07 am


I’m going to be on a demanding assignment for the next few weeks and won’t have much time to write. Here is a brainteaser for while I’m gone. Name the 24 celebrity photographers who took the pictures below. I’ll send a signed print to the first person that can correctly name them all before I return.


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