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Joel Sternfeld: iDubai [Hardcover]

Joel Sternfeld , Jonathan Crary

RRP: 24.00
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Book Description

28 Jun 2010
As Paris and its shopping arcades were to the 19th Century, Dubai and its wondrous malls may be to the new millennium. The Baudelarian flâneur, is replaced by the phoneur, a wired wanderer who uses the cell phone to text and call and access the internet, all the while snapping digital images on the fly. If the arcades were representative sites of early capitalism, then perhaps the postmodern shopping playgrounds of Dubai are exemplars of advanced capitalism. With this in mind, when Joel Sternfeld visited these malls in 2008, he documented them with the consumer fetish object of the moment the iPhone. In the process, he achieves a very particular unity of form and content; the object that encapsulates the spirit of an era is used to document that era. The ramifications of a profusion of mobile phone cameras around the globe are numerous. We have already witnessed this phenomenon becoming a platform for news construction with civilian journalism changing the documentation of events. In Dubai, Joel Sternfeld uses his iPhone camera to get past mass media images of the Emirate as Disney World on the Persian Gulf, and find a human component.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some Background 2 Sep 2012
By Mnemosyne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For what it's worth, the documentary "How to Make a Book with Steidl" deals, in part, with the printing and choice of content in iDubai. You can see Steidl and the author selecting the materials for the cover, the color balance of the images, etc.

In an anecdote, Joel tells how he took the images in the mall. Apparently, security guards stopped him from shooting on several occasions. So he used an iPhone app [something like "Fake Caller"] which he would program to call him and, while "answering" the phone, he would pretend that another call was coming in. Then he would raise the phone at the appropriate angle, as if to check the identity of the new caller, and shoot his picture. As Maxwell Smart would say, "Good trick."

My impression was that he and Steidl knew the photos were crap. They were the kinds of shots one would see anywhere, they were ubiquitous. So it was more of a conceptual project, linked to the iPhone. I remember one of them said something along the lines of, "the feeling is that we could give you dozens more like this."

I'm more interested in Steidl's printing, so that's what brought me to check whether this book was actually on sale at Amazon or not. Well, it is. Anyway, check out Steidl's website; it's quite interesting. You can also download an interesting catalog there.

How to Make a Book with Steidl - DVD

Note:
Bing Liu, a data-mining expert at the University of Illinois, showed that 60% of the reviews on Amazon are 5 stars and 20% are 4 stars: "But almost no one wants to write five-star reviews, so many of them have to be created."
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars idubai, Joel Sternfeld - why? 14 Dec 2010
By photobookjunki - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book purely on the reputation of Sternfeld. I became a fan since his other book, "american prospects". I was very disappointed with idubai. Images are uninspiring and can easily have been created by any photography student today. Only thing I liked was the material used on the cover of the book. It is an extensive coverage of people in a shopping mall, I'm assuming in Dubai. The best shots of the book was when he ventured outside the mall on the last couple of pages. Great let down.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very nice book 22 July 2013
By AnnUSA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really like this book and it's nicely put together. I will probably buy another to give as a gift
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK 25 Feb 2011
By C. Ronald Schwisow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After spending 10 days in Dubai, I find Joel's work interesting, fun, but very narrow. Almost everything he photographs is inside the mall(s). There is a lot more to see and do besides that.
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