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A montage from Reuben Njaa's "Digital Montages," which opens from 6-8 p.m. September 4 at Galeria Ortíz/Market Square Art Space (102 Concho, 225-0731).
FotoSeptiembre 2003 stretches from San Antonio to Mexico City, with participating galleries in Kerrville, Boerne, Rebecca Creek, New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Austin. Locally, more than 50 self-curated venues display conventional photography alongside more progressive, experimental work. In addition to mid-century master Manuel Álvarez Bravo and present-day wunderkind Bastienne Schmidt, San Antonians can sample a wide array of work from photographers who flirt with emerging technology.

Local artist Robert Maxham takes a non-traditional approach in displaying his work, but stays true to the standard process of conventional photography. His exhibit, "Proustian Dream," hangs at Blue Star, unfolding like a series of open books across the middle gallery. Other artists have devised ingenious mechanical means to extend the rubric of photographic standard. The "Alternative Process" exhibit at River City Silver features digital prints from 40 artists from the Texas Photographic Society. Digital print technology has fast become an effective and affordable substitute for laborious, hand-pulled processing of the past.

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"The Broadway Melody," a film screening with displays of vintage stills from the 1929 musical film, starts at 7 p.m. September 19 at Planet of the Tapes (1111 S. St. Mary's, 212-9373).
Photographer Ansen Seale's digital slit scan series, "Flux and Flow," was shot with a new device that extends exposure times beyond those of a standard 35mm camera. His use of unconventional technology doesn't dismiss traditional photography, but adds to it a degree of flexibility - forsaking the depth of field and dodge-and-burn detail of a hand-developed print. "Flux and Flow" is on exhibit at Three Walls at Blue Star.

Affordable advances in photographic technology have created a worldwide digital monster - a utopian ideal in which any yahoo with a digital camera and a marginal eye is suddenly a self-styled fine art photographer. Much to the chagrin of legitimate artists, this trend shows no sign of passing. However, advances in digital technology - from cameras to software manipulation and innovative print processes - are slowly redefining the century-old formalization of the photographic aesthetic. •

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Bruce Shackleford's "Views at the Edge" opens from 7-10 p.m. September 5, at Rendon Photography & Fine Art (733 S. Alamo, 225-2287).

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"A Proustian Dream: A Wall Book," featuring the photographic collages of Robert Maxham opens from 6-10 p.m. September 5, at Blue Star Art Gallery (116 Blue Star, 227-6960).

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Carlos Betancourt's "Realm of Secrets: Recent Artwork" debuts from 6-10 p.m. September 5, at Blue Star Art Gallery (116 Blue Star, 227-6960).



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