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Author Topic: Art and the plasticity of its forms  (Read 45889 times)

JNB_Rare

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #60 on: January 16, 2017, 02:43:54 am »

THE FISHERMAN'S NIGHTMARE

I realize that the above images may wander from what many people think of when they think "photograph". The following image is perhaps more recognizable as being from the medium of photography. It is a compilation of six photographs taken across a span of almost 10 years. The resulting image is, in fact, an idea that sprang from reading historical narratives about the lives of fisherman in the area in which I live. These stories were recorded on reel-to-reel tape decades ago by another photographer who lives here, and transcribed verbatim. Sadly, the audio tapes were destroyed in a fire; fortunately, they continue in print in the book. There were just so many tales of loved ones being lost at sea, or sometimes surviving against all odds. Despite advances in technology and forecasting, tragedies do still occur here. I wondered -- what would I think about, what would I dream about, if I were to have lived through what these fishermen have done?

« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 02:57:15 am by JNB_Rare »
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GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #61 on: January 16, 2017, 04:23:04 am »

I tend to agree with Martin Kemp (Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford) who is reported in the articles to have claimed: 'The idea that there is that picture as it were hiding underneath the surface is untenable. He disagrees that the different stages of the painting represent different portraits, but thinks they are more likely to show how the final painting evolved.'


This reminds me of what happened after Frans de Waal established experimentally that many mammals have a concept of negative justice: they are happy doing a certain task for a certain reward, but once they realise another animal is getting a better reward for the same task, they go on strike. A few, basically the large apes, also have positive justice: they are upset to find they are getting more than their fellows.

The point is that he was then set upon by various philosophers, for whom it was "a fact" that justice was not only uniquely human, but was invented during the French revolution! Their ideology was supposed to have precedence over facts (which is another common feature of our fellow great apes, it seems).

So da Vinci didn't work (or may not have worked) according to Kemp's theory of art? The x-ray machine must have got it wrong :)
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2017, 08:45:15 am »

This reminds me of what happened after Frans de Waal established experimentally that many mammals have a concept of negative justice: they are happy doing a certain task for a certain reward, but once they realise another animal is getting a better reward for the same task, they go on strike. A few, basically the large apes, also have positive justice: they are upset to find they are getting more than their fellows.

The point is that he was then set upon by various philosophers, for whom it was "a fact" that justice was not only uniquely human, but was invented during the French revolution! Their ideology was supposed to have precedence over facts (which is another common feature of our fellow great apes, it seems).

So da Vinci didn't work (or may not have worked) according to Kemp's theory of art? The x-ray machine must have got it wrong :)


They clearly hadn't hear of old king Solomon, then!

Rob

marton

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #63 on: January 16, 2017, 05:36:58 pm »

NOVEMBER

Another example to ponder. What is it a record of? Does it really matter? Would it surprise you to know that it is that damn peony plant again? This time, I took pictures of the dying foliage, which I had clipped and taken inside. The image is a combination of two photographs. I used window light and a sheet of black mat board for  background. Manipulation was pretty simple.

Alrighty, now  we're getting somewhere. I have to add that thus far, and it's probably my fault, no one seems to have grasped my point about photography being nothing more than a click of a button as it relates to the sensor and what is created, but that's fine, I'm moving on. I'll just mention that I've discussed this notion with friends who are PhD's in art and it's a commonly understood fact. But as I say, moving on.

Here, you've posted some images which use photography as a basis for creativity, using what the sensor captures and manipulating it into some kind of self expression, rather than just another dead boring over-saturated sunset or sunrise over the water somewhere in the world, or worse...blurry water moving over rocks. Done to death.

I think as far as I am personally concerned, photographic art as you've described here is the future...for me...not for everybody necessarily. I've already begun experimenting with some of my old RAW files and compositing 3d constructions with them. In this way, and in other ways as you've shown here, photography can be something other than simple documentation. It's when it's used as an expression of an idea, or concept, that photography becomes genuinely interesting. 
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marton

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #64 on: January 16, 2017, 05:38:15 pm »

THE FISHERMAN'S NIGHTMARE

I realize that the above images may wander from what many people think of when they think "photograph". The following image is perhaps more recognizable as being from the medium of photography. It is a compilation of six photographs taken across a span of almost 10 years. The resulting image is, in fact, an idea that sprang from reading historical narratives about the lives of fisherman in the area in which I live. These stories were recorded on reel-to-reel tape decades ago by another photographer who lives here, and transcribed verbatim. Sadly, the audio tapes were destroyed in a fire; fortunately, they continue in print in the book. There were just so many tales of loved ones being lost at sea, or sometimes surviving against all odds. Despite advances in technology and forecasting, tragedies do still occur here. I wondered -- what would I think about, what would I dream about, if I were to have lived through what these fishermen have done?

It's a great image, I wouldn't bother myself with worrying about whether or not some may or may not consider it 'photography'.
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marton

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #65 on: January 16, 2017, 05:44:01 pm »

https://issuu.com/betadevelopmentsinphotography/docs/beta_21

Some rather more interesting work to ponder
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JNB_Rare

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2017, 08:39:37 pm »

It's when it's used as an expression of an idea, or concept, that photography becomes genuinely interesting.

And this has been going on since the earliest beginnings of photography, and in a wide variety of genres. If I were infinitely wealthy, my walls would be graced with prints from all manor of photographers:

Wynn Bullock's Point Lobos Tide Pool (1957) and Tree Trunk (1971)
Paul Caponigro's Running White Deer
Irving Penn's 1950 Vogue cover, and his portrait of Jean Cocteau (1950's)
Arnold Newman's portraits of Stravinsky (1945), Salvador Dali (1951), and Wharhol (1973)
A selection from Richard Avedon's portraits of Twiggy(1968, with hair flying), Verushka (1967), and his portrait of Malcolm X (1963).
Ralph Gibson's Leda (the cover of his book, Days at Sea) and Ducktail
A selection of Elliott Erwitt
Perhaps a Diane Arbus (Child with Toy Hand Grenade?) Francesca Woodman, and Susan Burnstine (who builds her own cameras to photograph her dreams and nightmares).

And the list goes on and on. I'm sure that you would appreciate some of these photographer and their works, and perhaps not others. Some (Minor White springs to mind) have also written very eloquently about photography, and are worth reading. To me, it would be very easy to assemble a collection of images that I would truly consider art. And I imagine that most photographers of my (general) age could do the same.

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Ray

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #67 on: January 17, 2017, 04:25:57 am »

And the list goes on and on. I'm sure that you would appreciate some of these photographer and their works, and perhaps not others. Some (Minor White springs to mind) have also written very eloquently about photography, and are worth reading. To me, it would be very easy to assemble a collection of images that I would truly consider art. And I imagine that most photographers of my (general) age could do the same.

Whether something is art or not is a dualistic concept that doesn't apply to most situations. Everything we make or create has some degree or component of artistic creativity, and most works that are considered to be pure art actually rely in part upon essential ingredients that are not considered to be art, such as factory-produced canvas, paint, brushes, easels and picture frames, and sometimes spectacles if the painter is longsighted.

Marton's point that photography is nothing more than a click of a button, is a flawed concept. The only images I've taken which I might describe as 'no more than a click of a button' are those occasional shots that I've accidentally taken whilst trekking along a rough path, by unintentionally hitting the shutter button on a camera which is slung around my shoulder and bouncing around as I walk. The result is usually an out-of-focus shot of a patch of earth or grass, with perhaps half a foot intruding into the scene. Some folks might consider such shots to be quite 'arty'.  ;)

Generally, even the most basic photography will involve more than merely pressing the button. It will involve a choice of perspective, decisions as to what to include and exclude in the scene through cropping and choice of lens focal length, what to emphasise in the scene through choice of aperture and selection of focussing point, and choice of exposure in accordance with one's visualization of the scene (is detail in the shadows more important than a correctly exposed, but uninteresting sky, for example, or vice versa), and so on.

After having captured the scene in all the detail one's camera can muster, shooting in RAW mode if one is serious, one can then continue developing one's original visualization of the scene through further adjustments in Photoshop, just as Leonardo da Vinci modified his original painting of the Mona Lisa by painting over his first interpretation.  ;)

The question is not, "Is Photography art?", but to what degree is photography art, or to what degree can photography be art? Other questions that might be relevant are, "Is painting, on average, a higher form of art than photography is, on average?"

For example, I think most people interested in classical music would consider that opera is the highest form of art because it includes so many different genres of artistic endeavour combined into one show. It includes singing, acting, and the music from perhaps as many as a hundred individual musicians, as well as the artistic endeavours of costume designers and stage designers. Wow!  ;D
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GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #68 on: January 17, 2017, 06:12:23 am »

I think most people interested in classical music would consider that opera is the highest form of art

Pffft! 18-19th century pop music ;) A proper music snob prefers chamber music  ;D
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Ray

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2017, 08:03:54 am »

Pffft! 18-19th century pop music ;) A proper music snob prefers chamber music  ;D

Everyone and anyone can have an opinion. The quality of the opinion depends on the rational justification and evidence provided in support of the opinion.  ;)
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #70 on: January 17, 2017, 10:00:59 am »

ROFLMFAO


There are now two such FAs doing the same trick!

Reminds me of the old but true one about those who can doing, and those who can't...

But why would I wear out the lettering on my acer keyboard further on this notion? It's worn almost unreadable on some key keys already! Key keys, I like the ring of that; must store it up for future use sometime. Now that would be creative, wouldn't it! But of course, I'll make sure to consult some learned heads first.

;-)

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #71 on: January 17, 2017, 02:54:13 pm »

Just for the misguided: check out the mindset, the pictures photographs and then say it isn't about art at all.

http://www.graphicine.com/sarah-moon-i-see-you/

Rob

JNB_Rare

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2017, 06:02:21 am »

Marton's point that photography is nothing more than a click of a button, is a flawed concept. The only images I've taken which I might describe as 'no more than a click of a button' are those occasional shots that I've accidentally taken whilst trekking along a rough path, by unintentionally hitting the shutter button on a camera which is slung around my shoulder and bouncing around as I walk. The result is usually an out-of-focus shot of a patch of earth or grass, with perhaps half a foot intruding into the scene. Some folks might consider such shots to be quite 'arty'.  ;)

In the 1970's I ran into a photographer who was experimenting with turning photographic accident into intentional method. He would set his lens at hyperfocal for a small aperture, set a short self timer, and then fire the camera into the air (he used a catcher's mitt so that he could repeat the exercise). He said he was trying to let the camera take its own pictures. From what I saw, that camera was a very poor photographer.  :)
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JNB_Rare

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2017, 06:46:04 am »

Just for the misguided: check out the mindset, the photographs and then say it isn't about art at all.

http://www.graphicine.com/sarah-moon-i-see-you/

Rob

It is (what was the word?) undeniable. Sadly, Marton's PhD's aren't the only art academics with such a narrow view. I have a sister-in-law with a degree in fine art who came away from that (mis)education with a similar prejudice. When I loaned her a few books, it was clear that she'd never been exposed to photography apart from what she might have seen in regular life (in those days, Life and National Geographic magazines).

I used to ROTFLMFAO. Nowadays I find it's far too hard to get back up off the floor. Besides, my dear wife tells me it is undignified.  :)

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RPark

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2017, 01:19:17 pm »

This kind of endless argument is likely why Helmut Newton purportedly said "Some people's photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already."
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Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #75 on: January 18, 2017, 04:43:29 pm »

I prefer to knock the concept of art right off the table. I'm interested in creativity and what creative people create. Whether or not that creative stuff is called art or something else is irrelevant. Categories get encrusted over time and need to be flushed. Like diapers.  :)

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #76 on: January 18, 2017, 05:56:52 pm »

I prefer to knock the concept of art right off the table. I'm interested in creativity and what creative people create. Whether or not that creative stuff is called art or something else is irrelevant. Categories get encrusted over time and need to be flushed. Like diapers.  :)

-Dave-


But not, I hope, down the pan: that can cause lots of consequential damage!

Some say there is no art, only artists; others claim that sometimes what they do is art and that at other times, it is not art, depending, I guess, on whether they like the shot or reject it.

My own view, on balance, is that photography can be both art and craft, and that the borders are totally subjective.

More interesting, to me, is the realisation that the experience changes quite radically as one ages (I am thinking a lot about age these days) and is also very depedent on genre. When I was younger, shooting models most of the time, I had to go out and create an ambience (or do it in the studio) which did not really exist, and that was all about instinct and, most importantly when the results were best, the ability of the model both to understand what I thought that I was seeking, as well as being able to contribute a huge amount of input herself. It was something created by synergy; something that could never be repeated in quite the same way at a later date, even by the two of us.

However, take the same person - moi - and fast-forward a few decades, and everything has changed. I realise that I no longer go out expecting to make something happen where nothing was happening, though for too long I did, but to try to be attentive enough to recognize something that is trying to connect with me. It simply can't be forced, and it either 'speaks' or it does not. This belief/approach would have never allowed my business to last: I would never have found a repeat client. So in a sense, genre breeds attitude, and it takes some learning to accept that things are the way that they are, and you can't change them around to suit you; it's you who has to accommodate reality. And that reality depends very much on the reasons behind the making of the images: for a client, you can't await inspiration; for yourself, you can, but it's not enough; it takes a bit more than that. For a start, you have to be prepard to go out there without an idea in your head other than hope.

Rob

donbga

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #77 on: January 18, 2017, 09:16:39 pm »

These types of discussions are better left to the "experts", à la Andrew Molitor.

Too much photographic navel gazing can lead to creative impulses and channel your mind away from the true meaning of photography which is gear acquisition.

My 2 cents,

Don Bryant
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #78 on: January 19, 2017, 04:02:03 am »

These types of discussions are better left to the "experts", à la Andrew Molitor.

Too much photographic navel gazing can lead to creative impulses and channel your mind away from the true meaning of photography which is gear acquisition.

My 2 cents,

Don Bryant


I love your two cents, and I'm sure that all the manufacturers like it even more!

The more we buy and the less we do to wear stuff out, the longer it lasts; it's reputation for longevity grows, and the more times it becomes second-hand (neat marketing trick!), with fewer and fewer images made, even further grows that reputation for strength and reliability. Of course, the Japanese collectors who never open the pretty box knew this decades ago (don't try to understand it, it's a Zen thing), and that's what underlies the buoyant M market, with only the silly westerners who actually use the things in order to make images letting the team spirit down. But the pleasant surprise experienced by heretics will never divert the minds of the true aficionados of marque!

There must be a buck in it somewhere.

;-)

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #79 on: January 19, 2017, 04:38:12 pm »

But not, I hope, down the pan: that can cause lots of consequential damage!

Hah, you caught me out. I changed my original sentence, which was more about the contents of the diaper, and neglected to properly tidy up.  :D

Quote
So in a sense, genre breeds attitude, and it takes some learning to accept that things are the way that they are, and you can't change them around to suit you; it's you who has to accommodate reality.

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—but rather that it's not what I personally turn to photographs for. You can't help but frame a shot, but I like the frame's contents to be something the photographer notices more than constructs. Otherwise I'd rather they take it all the way and paint or draw or composite-from-scratch their work. YMMV.

Also, I know I've decontextualized your comment…but I think it applies well beyond the scope of pic-taking.  ;)

-Dave-
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