Various Small Fires is a website edited by Thierry Bal (, established in 2011.

“Its content relates to photography and photographic strategies in visual art, from the early period after the invention of the medium, up to the present; a time in which it is again going through radical change.

Various Small Fires is foremost the home of the ‘One Photograph’ series. Writers are commissioned to examine one photographic image from any source. This chosen image must serve as a platform to identify and discuss various roles and functions for ‘the photograph’. What can photographic images do for us?

Various Small Fires and Milk is a 1964 publication by American artist Ed Ruscha. It presents a series of black and white photographs of small domestic fires (matches, a stove, etc.) and ends with a solitary photograph of a glass of milk. The book was highly influential in terms of its radically new methods of production and distribution. Moreover, the images it contains are testament to a playful yet thought-provoking approach to photography, put to use to encourage viewers to engage with a new set of possibilities for the medium.”


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