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Author Topic: Art and the plasticity of its forms  (Read 17141 times)

marton

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2017, 08:36:35 PM »

It's amusing to note the misconception and misunderstanding surrounding a simple fact - push button, image captured. Photographer is captive to sensor technology, unlike painter or sculptor or even digital artist. Using a photograph as a basis for creativity is something else again. Using the sensor as a basis, as the raw substance to create with, is a furtherance of what photography, in and of itself mundane documentation by its very nature, can be. I generally do like photography for what it is though.
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Ray

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #81 on: January 19, 2017, 09:50:51 PM »

Photographer is captive to sensor technology, unlike painter or sculptor or even digital artist. Using a photograph as a basis for creativity is something else again.

And unlike the photographer, the painter is captive to paint, and usually canvas and paint brushes, and so on. And the sculptor is captive to stone, wood, metal, clay, or whatever medium he uses, plus the appropriate tools needed to work in that medium.

One is not going to get very far using one's bare hands without tools, to fashion a piece of stone. However, you don't necessarily need to press a button in order to make a photo. If you really want to, you could make your own pin-hole camera, but you'd still be dependent on film.  ;)
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GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #82 on: January 20, 2017, 03:47:05 AM »

Yes. This gets at an issue I have with folks like Crewdson, who take a studio approach out into the world and then direct the world as though it were a studio. It's not that you can't do this, or even that you shouldn't—Crewdson in particular is inspired by cinema, and most cinema involves some (or much) directing of the world

It took me a while to "get" Crewdson. It seems to me that he is deliberately creating something slightly incoherent: it's not cinema, it's dream inspired by a film in which our subconscious hasn't managed to make everything quite right. Take the example of the photo of the car turning into the main street of a small town in the snow. It's presumably very early in the morining, because there are no other traces in the snow.... but still? The light is obviously very low, but there is no blur and very deep depth of field: somehow we know this is wrong, nothing is really moving, it's just arranged to look as if it is moving. In short, we immediately see that it is fake, but we're not quite sure why, or why we know, and it feels creepy.

It seems to me that photography is well adapted to achieving this sort of image, and if it's not what I expect, so much the better. YMMV, of course :)
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #83 on: January 20, 2017, 04:27:46 AM »

Re Crewdson: yes, he does these stagings, and probably very well, but it simply doesn't mean anything to me beyond that fact, so whilst accepting he makes large images, I feel he belongs to advertising rather than to 'art' and so it's somewhat of a misplaced genre, but clearly the gallery world doesn't think so, which is also perfectly okay.

Does me no harm, and so more power to his elbow!

Were I rich, I think I'd decorate the walls with drip paintings... maybe make some more of my own. But I can't afford myself: my time is better spent having cups of tea, as the saying goes.

I did some advanced mathematics yesterday afternoon and discovered that I probably spend around a month's pension per year on coffee in cafés. I also blow two hundred-and-sixty euros per annum on the lottery which, of course, is actually an investment towards the family's future; I think I finally see where Mr Trump is coming from: infrastructure!

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #84 on: January 20, 2017, 05:49:25 AM »

One day I shuld write a paper on lotteries: a lot of statisticians completely miss the point. If you play often for small stakes you're screwed, the Law of Large Numbers says you will converge to the average, which is of course losing. If on the other hand you play occasionally with very long odds, the LLN doesn't apply: the amount you spend will never amount to the amount you might win, but probably won't. You either come out far ahead, or a little behind, you never approach the average. And it's not as though there is a rational alternative: there is nothing legal I could do with my 60€/year of loto investment that would give me a better chance of suddenly having a couple of million in the bank.
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GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #85 on: January 20, 2017, 06:27:06 AM »

a return of about 1.5% on premium bonds and have a miniscule chance of banking the big one.

Indeed. So your 1.5% yield will mean your 260€ will grow, over 20 years, to 360€. The problem with utility is that it's not linear wrt currency units. It's the same reason we have insurance, in the opposite sense: if you live in the US and something bad happens to you health wise, the medical bills could wipe you out completely (highest contribution to individual bankruptcies prior to the ACA). So we spend (more than 260€) to protect against low probability large outlays... the administrative losses in health insurance (particularly the private enterprise version that doesn't incorporate negotiating power with pharmaceutical companies) are comparable to the dealer's cut in a lottery.

Lotteries are just insurance with a change of sign.
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #86 on: January 20, 2017, 09:10:31 AM »

Premium bonds! Good grief! I have a few hidden away somewhere - if I could remember where, I'd check 'em out! I may be sitting on a fortune and not know a damned thing about it.

But the Euromillones offers more than money: it brings twice-weekly hope, without which there's nothing left to do but to worry about getting this friggin' beautiful-but-redundantly-too-big-for-one apartment sold. With the right win, there'd be no thought of selling, just of wandering the Earth with that M10 or whatever. I would still avail myself of black tape, though. Infinite wealth would not save me from possible heart attack in the case of getting assaulted. However, I have never been a hero, so it might (an assault) offer me a way of going down in glory as I strike a blow for the pensionistas with greater responsibilities to protect than have I! One must always look on the bright side of life.

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #87 on: January 20, 2017, 03:52:24 PM »

My dad would buy a lottery ticket whenever the jackpot exceeded a certain threshold. I forget the $$ value he chose but it was high, which meant he seldom actually played.  :)

-Dave-
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Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #88 on: January 20, 2017, 04:15:30 PM »

It took me a while to "get" Crewdson. It seems to me that he is deliberately creating something slightly incoherent: it's not cinema, it's dream inspired by a film in which our subconscious hasn't managed to make everything quite right.

I do enjoy the "off-ness" in Crewdson's pics. Still I don't think he's doing anything Hopper hasn't already done better and in a better-suited medium. IMO anyway.

I've managed over time to train myself to try reading, while dreaming, any text I "see" in a dream. I've gotten quite good at it over the past year. The text, whether in books or on posters or wherever, is always made up of actual letters arranged into what look kinda like words…but the words are always gibberish. Once I realize this within the dream, I invariably wake up. You'd think I'd be able to at least come up with goo goo gaa gaa or somesuch…

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #89 on: January 20, 2017, 04:58:21 PM »

The first accessory I bought for my M was a roll of black insulation tape: not driven by fear, you understand, but by modesty.


Keith, of course!

;-)

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #90 on: January 20, 2017, 05:08:11 PM »

I do enjoy the "off-ness" in Crewdson's pics. Still I don't think he's doing anything Hopper hasn't already done better and in a better-suited medium. IMO anyway.

I've managed over time to train myself to try reading, while dreaming, any text I "see" in a dream. I've gotten quite good at it over the past year. The text, whether in books or on posters or wherever, is always made up of actual letters arranged into what look kinda like words…but the words are always gibberish. Once I realize this within the dream, I invariably wake up. You'd think I'd be able to at least come up with goo goo gaa gaa or somesuch…

-Dave-


Dave, perhaps your predispositioning assumption about goo goo gaa gaa is what's holding you back? Try a little light Shakespeare before retiring and you never know what may spring into virtual reality for you!

My own dreams are not very cheerful; they often take me places I don't want to go. Not nightmares, not by a long chalk, but they just don't make me feel very bright as they are happening. I often think of them as being such a waste of opportunity when, in that world, they could have been so rewarding instead.

Rob

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #91 on: January 21, 2017, 04:00:39 PM »

Dave, perhaps your predispositioning assumption about goo goo gaa gaa is what's holding you back? Try a little light Shakespeare before retiring and you never know what may spring into virtual reality for you!

I have found that if I play an instrument late in the evening I often then have musical dreams. Sadly, reading before bed has never resulted in legible dream text. So far anyway.

Quote
My own dreams are not very cheerful; they often take me places I don't want to go. Not nightmares, not by a long chalk, but they just don't make me feel very bright as they are happening. I often think of them as being such a waste of opportunity when, in that world, they could have been so rewarding instead.

Whenever I have a bleak dream it's always such a relief to wake up and realize it was fictive. For me the strangest dreams of all are those where I form a strong emotional bond with "someone" in the dream, then wake up to realize that someone was also fictive. For a few moments I feel like I've lost a friend or a loved one. Maybe I should hire Crewdson to photograph that;)

-Dave-
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marton

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #92 on: January 21, 2017, 09:08:52 PM »

And unlike the photographer, the painter is captive to paint, and usually canvas and paint brushes, and so on. And the sculptor is captive to stone, wood, metal, clay, or whatever medium he uses, plus the appropriate tools needed to work in that medium.

One is not going to get very far using one's bare hands without tools, to fashion a piece of stone. However, you don't necessarily need to press a button in order to make a photo. If you really want to, you could make your own pin-hole camera, but you'd still be dependent on film.  ;)

Well, not quite. Photography is a matter of subtraction. You begin with a finished picture as it were, leaving out that which is not conducive to subject and composition. It already exists, the photographer creates nothing. However, a painting is a matter of addition, in that he or she begins with nothing, and via imagination creates something.
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #93 on: January 22, 2017, 05:42:36 AM »

Well, not quite. Photography is a matter of subtraction. You begin with a finished picture as it were, leaving out that which is not conducive to subject and composition. It already exists, the photographer creates nothing. However, a painting is a matter of addition, in that he or she begins with nothing, and via imagination creates something.


Have you ever made even a basic still life, especially a still life?



Have you ever worked with a model, stood in front of a blank Colorama roll with her and thought (especially if a really untalented model has been forced upon you): what the hell do we do here? No, of course you haven't; given the challenge, I doubt you'd even know there's a difference between inspired and passive models.

But in your world, that will be seen as an ad hominem, will it not? Too bad; think of caps and whether they fit. We all know that the blinkers already do.

(Why do I get the feeling you could actually be another poster who used to send in a constant flow of obscure quotations but, apart from once, nary a photograph?)

Best wishes,

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 11:09:28 AM by Rob C »
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Ray

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #94 on: January 22, 2017, 10:06:30 AM »

Well, not quite. Photography is a matter of subtraction. You begin with a finished picture as it were, leaving out that which is not conducive to subject and composition. It already exists, the photographer creates nothing. However, a painting is a matter of addition, in that he or she begins with nothing, and via imagination creates something.

That's the conventional view, which I think was espoused by the late Michael Reichmann, but those of us who are serious about photography and not satisfied with the capabilities of iPhones, sometimes see flaws and contradictions in such arguments.

This hypothesis that the painter starts with a blank (white) canvas and adds to it, but the photographer begins with a complete image and subtracts from it, has many exceptions.
I'll give you just one example, although I have many examples in my archives. The attached images show my second starting point, the processing of the image from a black canvas.

The painter doesn't really start from a blank canvas. He has some pre-visualization of what he wants to paint. Likewise, the serious photographer has a pre-visualization of what information he wants to capture on the camera's sensor.

In the attached images, I was using one of the first ISO-less cameras, the Nikon D7000. The subject matter was sensitive, and I didn't want to offend by using flash.

I converted the image to B&W because the colour was degraded. The image now looks as though it was taken with B&W film, which some folks might consider a plus.  :D
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Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #95 on: January 22, 2017, 05:14:37 PM »

That's the conventional view, which I think was espoused by the late Michael Reichmann, but those of us who are serious about photography and not satisfied with the capabilities of iPhones, sometimes see flaws and contradictions in such arguments.

I'm quite sure Michael, who did consider the art of subtraction to be very important in photography, would've nonetheless taken great issue with "the photographer creates nothing." And, as the rest of your post touches on, rightly so. Photographs don't already exist, waiting around to be discovered. However the world of objects and light does already exist…it's part of the raw material photographers and other visual creatives use, along with whatever pre-visualizing or conceptualizing they may also use.

We can take a more subtractive approach to photography (my own preference, though I make exceptions) or a more additive one. Sometimes I'll put together tableaus with my camera & lens already in position and the boundaries of the tableau thus established. Not much difference in such a case between clicking the shutter to draw the scene and using a pencil/pen/brush on paper/board/canvas to do the same.

Strange, the desire to establish a hierarchy of creativity where none needs to exist.

-Dave-
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Ray

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #96 on: January 23, 2017, 12:06:42 AM »

I'm quite sure Michael, who did consider the art of subtraction to be very important in photography, would've nonetheless taken great issue with "the photographer creates nothing." And, as the rest of your post touches on, rightly so.

Quite true. The reason I mentioned it is because Michael's graphic definition of the essential difference between 'art' and photography, stuck in my mind after I first read it about 15 to 20 years ago. It's an interesting concept.

I get the impression there have been many artists throughout the modern era of the development of the camera, who have been torn between the use of a paint brush and the use of a more technical and complex tool such as the camera.

That totally black, RAW image, that I was confronted with when I opened the image in Bridge, reminded me of the situation of a painter who begins with a white, blank canvas, and adds to it.

By retrieving the hidden detail in that black image, using my best skills, was like adding to a black canvas (as opposed to the white canvas that the painter adds to).

Many people probably delete all images that don't initially look nice, because they allow the camera to do all the processing.

However, processing the image from the RAW data is a large part of the artistic dimension in photography, in my view, but not the only aspect of course.


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Ray

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #97 on: January 23, 2017, 12:38:43 AM »

I should mention that the black image, that I suspect most people would have deleted, and which I processed just recently, several years after I took the shot, has a very relevant and emotional meaning for me.

Street begging is a common occurence in undeveloped countries, such as Thailand. One naturally feels sorry for the predicament of such people. However, what is perhaps  not widely known is that such beggars are often the victims of a crime syndicate who exploit the beggars as a source of income.

Much of the money placed in the begging dish or cup is taken by the mafia. Seriously disabled and homeless people are continually transported to different parts of Bangkok so they can appeal to different sections of the population, and raise more funds for the mafia.

Homeless women on the streets sometimes have babies thrust into their arms in order to generate more sympathy, and more donations from the public.

The clearly overweight woman in my photo appears to be in that latter category. The fact that she's overweight should raise serious questions. Why is a woman who has enough money to gorge herself on food, begging in the street?

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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #98 on: January 23, 2017, 05:37:07 PM »

I should mention that the black image, that I suspect most people would have deleted, and which I processed just recently, several years after I took the shot, has a very relevant and emotional meaning for me.

Street begging is a common occurence in undeveloped countries, such as Thailand. One naturally feels sorry for the predicament of such people. However, what is perhaps  not widely known is that such beggars are often the victims of a crime syndicate who exploit the beggars as a source of income.

Much of the money placed in the begging dish or cup is taken by the mafia. Seriously disabled and homeless people are continually transported to different parts of Bangkok so they can appeal to different sections of the population, and raise more funds for the mafia.

Homeless women on the streets sometimes have babies thrust into their arms in order to generate more sympathy, and more donations from the public.

The clearly overweight woman in my photo appears to be in that latter category. The fact that she's overweight should raise serious questions. Why is a woman who has enough money to gorge herself on food, begging in the street?

Do you know that's why she has the shape that she has?

I'm no doc, but it striks me that there's something more to her situation than overeating. My own doc went to India on holiday a few years ago, and his impression was that pretty much everybody he saw in the street was sick with something... I can certainly remember the many lepers and those unfortunates with elephantiasis, not to mention those intentionally crippled as babies (being bound) so that they would have a life begging.

Life can suck all by itself, and yet some folks add to that... there's so much that divides civilizations.

Rob
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 05:47:55 AM by Rob C »
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Ray

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #99 on: January 23, 2017, 07:05:34 PM »

Do you know that's why she has the shape that she has?

I'm no doc, but it striks me that there's something more to her situation than overeating. My own doc went to India on holiday a few years ago, and his impression was that pretty much everybody he saw in the street was sick with something... I can certainly remember the many leeprs and those unfortunates with elephantiasis, not to mention those intentionally crippled as babies (being bound) so that they would have a life begging.

Life can suck all by itself, and yet some folks add to that... there's so much that divides civilizations.

Rob

Rob,

I'm not aware of any medical condition which causes a person to become obese despite there being a shortage of food. There are no doubt medical and genetic conditions which have the effect of distorting a person's appetite so that they constantly feel hungry and cannot stop eating, provided the food is available, but the key point is, the food has to be available in order for a person to become overweight.

An overweight woman begging on the street would not gain much sympathy if she appears to be overfed, which is why I suspect the young child was thrust into her arms.

Elephantiasis looks quite different to obesity. It's more of a distorted swelling that occurs in one or more parts of the body, rather than a uniform distribution of excess fat.

Of course, I don't know for certain what her circumstances are and whether or not she really is under the control of some gangster organization. I'm just making a reasonable guess in the light of what I've read about the homeless situation in Thailand.
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