Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by c6h6o3, Jun 23, 2012.
by Joerg Colberg
Should you be posting some content instead of a link?
Another interesting read - there are some thought provoking comments made.
The thing that troubles me is the link to the artists - Firstly, the Gerhard Richter works I clicked on were Oils - is that photography? The Marco Bruer work - apart from the medium, what makes them a photograph?
The Matthew Brandt work was the only thing that I saw that looked like photography. Is it artistic? That is open to interpretation.
I think that was brilliant. Hoffy, the Richter work was being mentioned as a type pf abstract painting that is similar in style as the first photographer linked to, not as a photographer himself.
OK, Maybe I need to slow down when I read!
I too thought that it was an interesting read.
And especially worthwhile for "No artistic risk, not art (just ask William Wegman’s dog)."
Interesting article, but he doesn't seem to offer any solutions.
Kent in SD
The links to the photographers are his suggested directions we can move in to find a solution. I found it most interesting that he suggests that it's the analogue photographers who are leading the way into an innovatively creative future, not the digital ones.
Angst and navel gazing.
Writing for the sole purpose of writing something.
Firstly, painting didn't flourish because it no longer had the burden of being the record keeper since photography had taken up that task.
Total nonsense and the timeline is all wrong.
Next, photography originally developed not as an art medium but as a tool. To record something. Later, people begin to play with it's artistic potential.
Digitals first and foremost hurdle was to emulate/copy/perfect/advance/??? analog photography. If it was to replace the tools of the analog photographer, then it had to perform in much the same manner only with advantages. If there were no advantages it would have died. Only recently have people begun to play with the artistic elements of it. It's still a very young technology and changing and evolving every day.
The same minds that take analog into new and "exciting" directions, can/will/do take digital into the same realms, mainly because most photographers use both and essentially in the same manner: the brain, to the recording device, to the printed medium. Photography didn't REALLY change, only the tools changed. It is first and foremost a recording device, always was and will be. It is not a paint brush and a blank canvas. People that desire that type of medium pick up a paint brush and not a camera. You can't make riding a bicycle and driving a car the same experience. When you choose which experience you want, you choose the appropriate vehicle.
What is his bitch with archiving. Museums archive. Photographers archive. What has this got to do with creativity. That's like saying when you are sleeping you are not out shooting. Okay. But if you don't sleep you don't have the energy to go out shooting. If you don't save your work, you have no library of your work. Is archiving stopping you from being creative?
WTF has google got to do with any of this? That's like saying the artistic merit of security cameras is stagnant and lacking.
Is his thesis that Mathew Brandts work is something to aspire to? This pseudo abstract trashed negative, botched printing job, is where photography should be headed. This is progress? This is breaking the mold? This is breaking out?
Maybe his problem is that we actually like our stagnation, we like what we consider art, and what he considers an evolution is simply crap.
As for the abstract paintings, this is what photographer use for backgrounds now....http://www.silverlakephoto.com/seniors/
At least there is a use for abstract paintings he admires...http://www.gerhard-richter.com/exhibitions/exhibition.php?exID=572
As for abstract digital photography, there are people doing it now, just as they did it with analog, although to be truthful, nobody really cares
Blansky has written a perfect response to the meaningless blather, which for some reason I was directed to by the OP. Noone should concern themselves with these ridiculous assertions. As far as the state of art is concerned, who cares?! I do what I do because I enjoy doing it, not because it somehow advances the "Art" or craft of photography. I agree with Mr. Blansky that this article is total nonsense. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go develop some film.
Right from the beginning this article is at odds with my observations. Dominated by conservatism? Hardly. Quite the opposite. Photography has recently been dominated by pathetic efforts to "move things forward" with gimmicks. People fall all over themselves for practically anything that hasn't been done before, no matter how full of sh1t it is. Pee all over some old stained photo paper and you'll have a triumphant solo show.
In other words, "I don't have time for reading this, or even responding to it, but I'm going to anyway for some reason. In fact I should not even be here, but I'm going to take the time to write to you all and tell you all this."
Blansky you are so right, so very right!
I don't know who's side to take on this. The article makes me pause and question my own direction.
Going around in circles for 10 years? Maybe it's longer than that.
I'm starting to prototype an idea for some photos. I noticed some local social issues and wondered why the usual responses haven't been effective. I really want to get involved and make a difference, but I don't know where to start. All I know is what I see, or what I hear happened that I didn't see.
Another thread asked for references about Gene Smith, so I pulled out an old book that mentions him at least a dozen times. Flipping through, I landed on a page where an editor was describing a young photographer who brought a few stories.
There it was, in 1958, my idea.
While it may be angst and navel-gazing, I have seen pretty much the same thing from other sources. But it does make me question, how does art go forward?
All art goes through different periods. Music, painting, drawing, sculpture, what have you. The thing about photography is that it started fully formed, and only the materials have progressed. The dark box is still the dark box, with a lens at the front and something else at the rear to receive the light.
Mr. Colberg suggests that photography is stuck in place, held by "nostalgia and conservatism." From what I've seen, the biggest problem is breaking away from the lens, dark box, and sensitive material. All cameras, no matter what the size, still have the same layout, no matter if they are gargantuan and on a dedicated trailer, or tiny and on a telephone. It's just the nature of the beast.
The shutter opens, and an image arrives, fully formed. From the banal to the extraordinary, it's all there. So then comes the subject matter. What hasn't been photographed? From a pulse of light to a planet, photography has been to the moon and beyond. It has been to peace, to war, to the mountains and the bedroom.
And yet at its heart, it's still that good ol' snapshot. Mr. Colberg thinks that photography is moving "sideways" by those who create abstract works or who "distress" the print. But that's actually been done long ago, and it isn't new. Where is the "artistic risk" in photography?
The "artistic risk" is always in the mind of the person creating the artwork, and perhaps also the physical risk in making the artwork.
Rich815, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't try to put words in my mouth.
Interesting read and thanks for the site link. Conservatism - couldn't agree more. Nostalgia - absolutely. The two extremes as a result of a universal lack of ideas - nobody doubts that. You could say exactly the same about popular music. The stasis in the arts in general is, I think, a direct result of social and cultural stagnation. This is where ideas come from and this is where we should be looking, not specifically within the medium itself. Photography requires first looking outward, then inward. Unfortunately, my reaction to what's going on within and without the arts has been to look inward - dissociation.
Half a dozen words packed into about a thousand.
Don't agree obviously, as per my post, but just for the hell of it brainstorm and list a few things/places where photography could go.
I think the reason photography hasn't really changed at all in the last 100-150 years is simply we like it as it is. Sure people go off and do something a little differently, but really not much changes. The tools changed, but the subject matter is pretty much the same. I'd argue the reason is, is because it fits us, it suits us, it does what we want it to, and we like it.
Take a tool like a car. Invented 1800s, but it does exactly what it did when we first invented it. It moved us from one point to another. It got fancy but didn't really change.
A camera is much the same thing. It was invented to capture and record our lives, and events in our lives. No one has really been successful using it as a maker of art like a painter/canvas does. We obviously have arty photographs but that's mainly because it follows the same rules/guidelines of composition that we've come to accept as tickling our fancy, from the painting world.
I think the reason for that is, photography is pretty happily in the nitch it was created for and nobody has found a new use for it.
I don't see that as stagnation. A piano has 88 keys. Been that way for a lot of years. Lots of different ways to play it, untold combinations and styles, but in the end, it still sounds like a piano, no matter how you play it. Has it stagnated? Has it become boring? Does placing tacks on the hammers and making it sound like something else advance it in any way. Not to me.
I find photography the same way. Incredible tool. The results can still move people to joy, tears, and every emotion in between.
I think it's kind of perfect.
^^^ That's about right.
Agreed... phew, that was hard!
But like I said, I think people are uninspired by 'events' and their lives and perhaps, other people. We're collectively sick of ourselves. We're all narcissists now (social media, celebrity culture) and maybe that photography facilitates our narcissism in the most direct way (see Flickr and the 'artful' self-portrait fad) we resent the camera and how stupid and ugly it makes us look? It killed Francesca Woodman and it's killing us.
If you've seen the British Journal of Photography all the work featured is deeply objective quasi-photojournalistic straight photography, usually unposed posed portraits. The people you see staring down the lens without emotion are consistently screaming "I hate myself and the world I live in" It's so empty, so devoid of life, but definitely journalistic in style. Postmodern irony... again?
Nobody has found a new use, i.e. doing anything other than making pictures, I agree, and same goes for the paint brush. Though some enlightened indiviuals use the camera and paint brush in new ways. Occasionally.
To see where the future of photography is heading, I suggest perusing some of the images coming from the Hubble Space Telescope. These are images which have never been done before and are exquisitely beautiful to behold. Our science has created a new genre of art, call it "spacescapes" if you will. Not only are we viewing distant objects in deep space, we are also seeing the remote past. These images are literally out of this world. For those who feel that the art is going nowhere, maybe it is because they are looking in the wrong places.
It's my understanding that the vast majority of this space photography is stitched together and heavily "enhanced" particularly the colors. Pretty but what's reality? Does it matter?
"Hubble images are made, not born. Images must be woven together from the incoming data from the cameras, cleaned up and given colors that bring out features that eyes would otherwise miss. Taking color pictures with the Hubble Space Telescope is much more complex than taking color pictures with a traditional camera. For one thing, Hubble doesn't use color film — in fact, it doesn't use film at all. Rather, its cameras record light from the universe with special electronic detectors. These detectors produce images of the cosmos not in color, but in shades of black and white. Finished color images are actually combinations of two or more black-and-white exposures to which color has been added during image processing. The colors in Hubble images, which are assigned for various reasons, aren't always what we'd see if we were able to visit the imaged objects in a spacecraft. We often use color as a tool, whether it is to enhance an object's detail or to visualize what ordinarily could never be seen by the human eye."
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