A New Nothing – Ariel Goldberg and Katie Kline


Wavepool – How have you approached the idea of having an image-based conversation?

Ariel Goldberg – Katie and I have been having image-based conversations since we were 18. We learned how to be photographers together (still learning). We also had our first teaching experience in a class called Community Collaborations where taught photography to high school students. I don’t believe in a hard divide between language and photography. So the conversation we are having on A New Nothing seems very similar to standing by the hot air of the calenta in college and looking at our pictures together. We started this A New Nothing conversation shortly after Katie moved to California and it’s a beautiful way for us to keep in touch.

Katie Kline – When Nat Ward asked me to participate in this project and invite someone to have a conversation with through images, I thought of Ariel Goldberg. Ariel is someone I’ve wanted to collaborate with for some time, we’ve known each other for for about 15 years. For a while, I imagined that to be a book of my photographs with text by Ariel. After spending time in Ariel’s studio, I was excited and inspired by the similarities in our photographs; what we look at and choose to gather from walks out with our cameras. Many of these parallels are difficult to articulate and more easily explained through side-by-side comparison.



Wavepool – If you were to compare your exchange to one that is spoken, how would you describe it?

Ariel Goldberg – Our images are in conversation associatively. I would also describe our web gallery as fantasy-montage of walks we take when photographing alone. Often when in the zone, taking pictures, the camera is the only companion to seeing something beautiful and compositionally striking in light, colors, lines. But in this gallery we can share that exciting moment. Katie and I have similar fascinations and subject matter. We often find something ungroomed or highly groomed that our cameras can isolate as sculptural. In our exchange on A New Nothing I think we are teasing out both our similar interests and our slightly different styles and decisions. I like the idea of someone looking at our conversation and either not knowing who took what photo or ignoring the initials of our names, or being able to spot patterns in our styles and decisions.

Katie Kline – With each call and response I gain insight as to how Ariel is looking at each of my photographs and what information is being received. The exchange plays like a game of memory mixed with playing cards. We are responding to symbols, visual clues, emotional undertones, and shared experiences. This is particularly exciting when I feel like we are on the same page just as in a verbal conversation:
“Oh, I see.”
“What about when this happens?”
“Of course.”
“No way!”



Wavepool – What have you taken away from the process?

Ariel Goldberg – I don’t often show my photographs. They are like secrets. But Katie has always known of my pictures and their slow pace since I’ve gone underground as a photographer and become more of a writer. I am excited to see what Katie is working on (California light!) and this is both a public and a private way for us to be sharing both our archive of images and newer work.

Katie Kline – I wish more of my conversations could be exchanged through a series of images rather than words. This is why I love Instagram. This process and other dialogues in the series have inspired what I shoot. I’ve begun to photograph for this conversation and hope to start others like it elsewhere.


To see more, please visit A New Nothing.