95 Theses by Gerald Matt

2009-04-15 24

Sure there are the 10 golden rules and the 10th rule that says that we should not follow any rules, but what about these theses?

If you were in London in 2007 during the Lomography World Congress you may remember Gerald Matt. A long-time friend of the founders of Lomography, he is also the current Director of the Kunsthalle, museum of contemporary art, in Vienna, Austria. Inspired by living the Lomographic life, Gerald wrote his 95 theses covering all aspects of Lomography applicable to a seasoned LC-A shooter as well as the curious soon-to-be Lomographer that just recently found a funny looking film camera. We present to you the full, unabridged 95 Lomography Theses according to Gerald Matt.

Read them. Learn them. Live them.


1. Lomography is always ironic.
2. A good way of drawing people’s attention to you is to Lomograph them.
3. Always Lomograph. Never grow weary.
4. If you don’t achieve mastery of Lomography through self-education, then technical literature won’t help you either. For Lomographers, it is always important not to get out of practice.
5. Point your Lomo at yourself. This works as a spiritual purgative.
6. A Lomographer Lomographs everything, even corpses.
7. Lomography always signifies contact.
8. Morals are a misconception. Lomography is a virtue.
9. The eyes of the Lomographer are his assets.
10. The shutter release of the Lomographer is his detonator.
11. Live as far as possible with a Lomo.
12. Always love. Always Lomograph.
13. Inspiration is everything for the Lomographer though a little training doesn’t hurt.
14. The Lomographer is inquisitive. Surprise is his elixir.
15. To get to know a Lomographer you need only get to know yourself.
16. Don’t hit others with your Lomo, you could damage it.
17. Give your friends and enemies Lomographs as gifts.
18. Be tactful when Lomographing during sex.
19. Be suspicious if someone recommends you a relaxing massage or calming tablets in anxious situations. It is better to Lomograph instead.


20. Make lots of Lomographs. No one will be able to hate you that much and it will slightly influence those who don’t love you.
21. If someone asks you – “What kind of passion causes you to lead such an enjoyable life?” answer: “My Lomo“.
22. Don’t go overboard with paradoxes if you want to Lomograph someone.
23. A Lomographer can also be an exhibitionist. But that’s irrelevant.
24. Never think of sleeping. You can sleep later. It is better to Lomograph.
25. Never flatter. Be harsh and Lomograph.
26. Your slogan reads: “Exclusive“. Think however of your friends, the Lomographers.
27. Don’t let your voice or your complexion let on that it’s late at night, but always allow your Lomographs to do so.
28. Keep all physical exertions to a minimum. It is better to Lomograph.
29. Don’t live with other people. That will hinder you from Lomographing.
30. If in doubt always decide against seeing a doctor. Should you however need to consult a doctor, wait for the results of the examination first before Lomographing him.
31. Hide your own opinion wherever possible. Lomograph instead.

Girls and Boys

32. There are people who may approach you in order to be Lomographed.
33. If you should forget your Lomo and a woman/man returns it to you, Lomograph him/her.
34. Only undress the person opposite you if you at least intend to Lomograph her or him.
35. Learn to hypnotize with your Lomo.
36. If a man/woman asks you how he/she can look best in the picture don’t trouble yourself with your Lomo. He/she is either unattractive or impudent.
37. If a man/woman keeps out of your way, throw yourself at his/her feet, kiss the floor and your Lomo and surrender your fate to him / her.
38. If a man/woman kisses you impulsively after you have taken a Lomograph of him/her then bestow your Lomo with a new film.
39. If you want to remain the object of affection of a man/woman for as long as possible, Lomograph him/her in a way that is most flattering to him/her.
40. A Lomographer rarely greets people, but always Lomographs. Occasionally, he even enjoys kissing.
41. When trying to win over a man/woman it is often effective to Lomograph later on.
42. Appreciate the suggestion of Lomography, as Lomography always wins.
43. From time to time excess is necessary. Attack and Lomograph. The results will later become the narrative of your life.
44. Observe the reactions of those you’re with. If you talk about Lomography, laugh.


45. Occasionally Lomograph while shouting loudly “Hurrah!"
46. Don’t keep company with imbeciles; it’s better to Lomograph.
47. If suddenly you’ve ran out of enough strength to take Lomographs, then from now on be miserable.
48. Lomography isn’t a dog and doesn’t need to go out regularly.
49. When Lomographing always give yourself the impression of being dangerous. That will make more pictures possible.
50. In saloons it is better to stand. You could be Lomographed.
51. Greet people with your Lomo and never your tongue.
52. Only kneel while taking photographs as an act of adoration. Otherwise shoot from the hip.
53. Never sweat; if you have to, Lomograph immediately to distract the other person.
54. When at the opera, resist the temptation to throw your Lomo. Use eggs or tomatoes instead.
55. Never Lomograph a mobile phone. Ever!


56. Never trust a digital camera.
57. Never enter a photo shop that doesn’t have Lomos.
58. Never excuse a digital photographer because you will come across as arrogant.
59. Be wary of digital photographers, their lack of imagination is contagious.
60. Now and again, suddenly close your eyes when taking Lomographs, the result will surprise you.
61. Always judge according to the external appearance of the picture. The secret of the world is visible, not hidden. Think of Oscar Wilde. Lomograph.
62. Only criticize someone else’s camera a) if it’s a digital camera or b) if he or she hits you over the head with it.
63. What is important in Lomography is to simply shoot from the hip.
64. Avoid any association with digital photographers. Each one is bad luck personified. Digital photographers have no imagination or passion.
65. Always assume that digital photographers mean mischief.
66. Consecrate analogue cameras. Digital cameras are of the devil.
67. Every rule has an exception. The exception is the rule. A Lomographer may do anything. So never forget and secretly repeat: “digital or analogue, whichever, Lomo is everything.“


68. If there’s no way out, Lomograph.
69. Wherever you Lomograph, never forget: “Everything that you see around you may be put on.”
70. The journey never ends for the Lomographer.
71. Only take your Lomo home if you aren’t in a hurry.
72. Always live together with your Lomo. You will definitely need it at some point.
73. Lomograph at dawn, on land, on water, in the air, wherever.
74. There are so many things you can do if it’s sunny. However, you can Lomograph whatever the weather is like.
75. When drunk, make sure that your Lomo gets home safely.
76. It is possible to Lomograph on aeroplanes, though you run the risk of appearing clumsy if you do. Better to travel by train, particularly the Orient-Express.
77. Take care at unpleasant border crossings that your Lomo survives the inspection procedures regardless.
78. Should you be obliged to bury your Lomo in a wood, remember where you buried it.
79. Lomograph in the Alps – giving preference to the Austrian Alps before the Swiss or French Alps. However, bear in mind that the Taiga, Pampa and Tatra are also pretty.
80. You can Lomograph everywhere but it’s always better abroad.


81. If the conversation turns to an awkward point, just Lomograph the other person.
82. Never carry a gun; it will tempt you to use it. Always carry a Lomo instead and use that.
83. Should your Lomo fall from a window or balcony onto the street below due to carelessness or drunkenness, if a loud scream rings in your ear, take to your heels.
84. Don’t steal Lomographs from Lomographers.
85. If it’s hard for you to take the right shot, then force yourself to keep trying so that even if you don’t succeed you will at least get into a Lomoflow that will stop you from getting bored.
86. Don’t concern yourself with psychoanalysis, politics, literature or science. It steals your time and strength, without even challenging you. Lomograph the whole world. That will do you more good.
87. Go to the cinema frequently. Pictures create pictures. The Lomographer loves the cinema.
88. You will also achieve peak performance if you take more and more Lomographs.
89. Never forget the quote by Dr. Walter Serner: “Ideologies are nothing more than an assortment of words”, and always feel completely free to decide what to Lomograph and what not. So bear in mind that you will get more rest lying in a hammock than on a Gauguin.
90. Suggest a lot, don’t keep to your promises, and convince with your Lomographs.
91. Don’t speak of projects. One day someone will shoot you or subsidize you. Take Lomographs without asking.
92. Lomograph high clerical dignitaries, especially the Pope.
93. If you Lomograph an animal, choose cats or snakes first. Take care with birds or fighting dogs.
94. Be wary of journalists and politicians and consider the risk you run if you Lomograph them.
95. At worst, after a day of Lomography in inescapable loneliness, recite the 95 Lomo theses and then be strengthened with a glass of champagne before going to bed. Or at best, if you meet an attractive person leave the reciting out and enjoy the glass of champagne and a night of good company.

written by lucasjakobsson on 2009-04-15 #news #95-theses #lomography #gerald-matt


  1. mandashitley
    mandashitley ·

    I love this!

  2. hind
    hind ·

    I loved listening to Gerald Matt reciting it in London and loving reading it again.

  3. stouf
    stouf ·

    Instinctive, surprising and funny. Pure lomography.

  4. lomosexual_manboy
    lomosexual_manboy ·

    Some of these theses are trouble makers, but quite funny.

  5. copefan
    copefan ·

    all these need to go on one t-shirt!

  6. fabyen
    fabyen ·

    excellent !
    @copefan : good idea !

  7. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    definitely worth reading

  8. dirklancer
    dirklancer ·

    #16 !!!

  9. dogma
    dogma ·


  10. kernow_and_cambria
    kernow_and_cambria ·

    65. Always assume that digital photographers mean mischief.

    I love causing Mischief though!!

  11. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    really cool:)

  12. reid
    reid ·

    Considering this is supposed to be from the director of a contemporary art museum, don't you think it's a little narrow minded and patronising?

    "Be wary of digital photographers, their lack of imagination is contagious."

    Opinions like this are dangerous. you'd never hear a drummer say that you should be wary of DJ's, because they lack imagination! I don't own a digital camera apart from the little one in my phone, but that doesn't mean I'm opposed to anyone who does.

    What is important is the idea of appropriate technology. In the 80's K Records put out their music on tape cassettes because they were easy and cheap to make and sell, and they became an icon of that time. Rather than carrying this on today, when few people use cassettes compared to MP3 would have been inappropriate. People still use tapes today because they do things no other format can, in the way that film does to people like us. However, to say that one method of artistic practice is superior to another is just stupid.

    I'm grateful to Lomography for introducing me to photography, but until the content of this website needs to become a little more intelligent and based in the real world.

  13. kylewis
    kylewis ·


  14. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    75. When drunk, make sure that your Lomo gets home safely. - So True!

  15. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    #25... Correlary, be decorous, because there might be someone lurking in the shadows with some box with a very fast lens, or, conversely, be the lurker...

  16. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    Ok - Lomographers - better start to learn - exam about the theses will start next week.... :)

  17. u-t-e
    u-t-e ·

    @reid: #1 and #67.

  18. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    i read this a couple of months ago.. hehehe.. its cool!

  19. spendospend
    spendospend ·

    75 is spot on!

  20. jaalvarez
    jaalvarez ·

    I think that ... you can take all the item, flip them over and continue to be true ones ...

  21. anelfandhiszippo
    anelfandhiszippo ·

    Great reading =DD

  22. 3lla
    3lla ·

    Ah I love these! Definitely save them for the future

  23. zeitfenster
    zeitfenster ·


  24. mattydk
    mattydk ·

    simply amazing!

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