“Try to unpack what it is about work you admire that makes it powerful.”
Jason Koxvold (born 1977) is a contemporary photographer currently based in Brooklyn, NY (USA).
Jason Koxvold makes work depicting the topology of globalisation under the working title ‘Everything, and nothing’. This series observes the hand of neoliberal financial policy around the world, charting material relationships and sociological patterns between powers large and small.
Interview with Jason Koxvold
Jason, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
I started taking photographs at an early age with a 35mm Nikkormat that I inherited from my grandfather. My initial passions were aesthetic: I evaluated the work against purely visual criteria for a very long time.
It wasn’t until much later – around 2007 – that I started to understand how the medium could be used to build a cohesive investigation of social issues as part of a larger artistic endeavour.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
I work in large format, mostly in 4×5”, typically with only one lens, so the technique is quite consistent across all the work. So my process usually centres around selecting my location for what it represents and how it connects to the broader body of work; I scout extensively using Google Earth, and conduct extensive research into the socioeconomic context of the location.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
A 4×5 Toyo field camera with lenses by Schneider.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
Go to galleries and see the work in its intended format; it’s impossible to understand contemporary photography in low resolution, skimming past thousands of images on Tumblr.
Try to unpack what it is about work you admire that makes it powerful. Go to school, or join discussion groups to talk about the work. I missed all of this stuff, and when I finally broke into it, I felt like my eyes had been opened.
Check out my photography podcast – conversations with inspiring street photographers from around the globe sharing their secrets for creating amazing images. It’s mostly in German, but here are some episodes in English:
Valerie Jardin: “Street Photography – Creative Vision Behind The Lens”
Jason Koxvold: “Knives” – Left Behind In Rural America”
Luc Kordas: Loneliness In New York