Critical Mass by Photolucida

What Is Critical Mass?

The aim of Critical Mass, and all Photolucida programming, is to provide participants with career-building opportunities and to promote the best emerging and mid-career artists working today.

Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple- photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10 image portfolio for $75. This work then gets pre-screened by a committee of approximately 20-25 great jurors and from there, 175 top Finalists are determined. These top finalists then pay an additional submission fee and their work goes on to a jury of approximately 200 of the world's best curators, editors, and professionals who have agreed to view and vote on these finalists. From these votes, two or three photographers receive book awards and once the monographs are published, everyone who enters and reviews will receive copies of the books.

We are pleased to continue to give scholarships to pre-selected photographers by geographical region. In 2007, we gave scholarships to Polish photographers, in 2008 it was Mexico. This year, the lucky country is Italy.

What to expect?

As an entrant to Critical Mass, you shouldn’t necessarily expect feedback from the jurors unless they want to contact you about doing something with your work. Reviewers are given the opportunity and encouraged to provide written feedback, but we can’t guarantee anything other than:

Everyone who enters will receive copies of each of the Book Award Winners.
Everyone who enters will receive a CD containing all of the submitted work.
Everyone who enters will have their work seen, and voted on, by the Pre-Screening committee.
Those who continue on in the top 175 Finalists will have their work seen, and voted on, by over 200 jurors.
Those who make the Top 50 will be given the opportunity to have their work in a Critical Mass Top 50 show at PCNW, curated by Andy Adams, editor/publisher of Flak Photo.

Critical Mass 2010 will open in July

Congratulations to the Critical Mass 2009 book award winners!

Alejandro Cartagena
Birthe Piontek

Photolucida is excited to co-publish Alejandro’s book with Daylight Books.

Critical Mass registration happens every year, usually late summer.
Critical Mass 2008 books will be sent out to all participants in late April.

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