Really?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by gr82bart, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Wow, it's not enough that I can't just enjoy my photography, I have to share it too. All this waste. Well, I guess I should just give up photography all together then.

    Regards, Art.
     
  2. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    crap

    was this right after they killed off almost every zone VI product that was useful??
    Best, Peter
     
  3. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    everything's a waste if you're not making money off it to marketeers. they look through a narrow lens with a $ filter (cheesiest photography metaphor to date?). I have about 90 rolls of film in this years portfolio and i haven't taken a single one out of the house in the real world or the cyber world. the second your art hits the market, it looses all authenticity. That's when you compromise the integrity of the originality of the photo and the personalization of it to the marketplace to make a sale. Maybe Richard Newman should sell his children, as they're just a fiscal burden anyway (unless you can write them off on your taxes).
     
  4. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    As silly a generalization as Richard Newman's, in my opinion.
     
  5. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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  6. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    why not is it a silly generalization? you might not lose ALL authenticity, but you will certainly lose partial-to-lots of it.

    take this scenario for instance: if you were able to duplicate yourself into two photographers and have one photographer shoot exclusively non-market photos that just sit in a drawer where no one sees them or you start selling your photos, displaying them in cafes, galleries, etc, will they be exactly the same a year down the road? you might not totally sell out, but unless you can filter out everyone's comments or never look for "marketable" photographs in your photographic endeavours then you'll lose a piece of yourself in the work that you do and chose to do.
     
  7. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I think I disagree with every single word. You start from the presumption that authentic art must be influenced by nothing external to the artist. I start with the premise that all art is a product of everything in the world that influences the artist.

    By your definitions, even if I don't attempt to sell my art to anyone, but just let them see it and comment on it, I've become unauthentic.

    Where is this line that divides what an artist can let in and what an artist must keep out. Consciousness can be wide open. The presumption that everyone will proccess external influences the same way, repeating what the market accepts and avoiding what it rejects may or may not be so but it also may or may not have anything to do with selling out. It may simply be a matter of refining one's delivery based on learning what works, in terms of sharing and communicating one's vision.
     
  8. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Huh?

    So the only true art is that which is never seen? That is the absurd conclusion one must draw from your comment.

    Sellouts like da Vinci, Michaelangelo etc. were clearly unauthentic artists since they worked on commissions?

    What a load of.....
     
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    'I will pay you to make photographs of this subject...' loses the authenticity.

    'I will buy one of your photographs' retains the authenticity.

    Is that was the point Jordanstarr was making?
     
  10. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I won't speak for him but I took his point to be that there's very little distinction between the two.

    I not only reject that but I also reject that an artist adjusting the work based upon the feedback loop provided by all sorts of cues, must inherently represent selling out.

    Sometimes you just learn that more people pay attention to you when you speak clearly than when you mumble.
     
  11. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    i never used the word sellout, if that's where all the negative conotations are coming from. all i'm saying is that the work you do for others you arn't doing it for yourself. you can still call it "art" if you wish, but it's not authentic (authentic as "uninfluenced by the market"). so if leonardo did work for other people on commission and produced art for them for money and did what they wanted him to do, it wasn't authentic.

    if you keep your art lying around for years that is uninfluenced by the market and people buy it there is no way you can "sell out" as the work was produced before market influence.

    of course art is influence by external elements. if you thought that's what i was getting at, you read my entire premise all wrong. all elements of social life influence who a person becomes, so why would art be any different. what i'm talking about as "authenticity" is doing art without the intension of making money off of it. if we want to be technical, nothing is authentic. everything is a product of some other influence. unless we're blank slates walking around, authenticity doesn't really exist. i just assumed you knew when i was talking about authenticity i was talking about the market's role on art.

    as well, when i talk about "taking criticism" i mean taking it litterally. i mean taking what the person says seriously (a certain angle, colour hue, contrast level) and incorporating their views in order to be more "marketable". obviously listening to someone say "i don't like the high contrast in that photo" and you turn around and say "i like it and i'm going to keep doing it if i feel it's true to my nature" then who cares? nothing has changed. this is obvious.

    what i ask is to take my scenario seriously about the duplicate other producing within the market and the one outside of it. will they be the same? NO. that's all i'm saying. the market influences people's work away from what they would have authentically produced (with the outside elements of the world -upbringing, beliefs, ideals, concepts of beauty). it changes everything for better or for worse. i'm not saying you're not an "artist" or that you work isn't "good". all i'm saying is that the market changes the outcome of the art. if you don't, please just argue that the market doesn't influence your work and illustrate some points instead of altering the meanings of my argument (maybe i should be more precise, it could be my fault).
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I take umbrage at your use of the term "authentic" or "inauthentic" in relation to personal work we choose to market. For me, the work comes first. I don't take or print a single image that is not reflective of my personal, individual preconception. If the work sells, wonderful. I can't show a work I don't feel strongly about, and THAT commitment to the image itself comes before any market consideration.

    I sure as hell don't do beaches and sunsets, or cute kittens and puppies - taking those photos because I know they'll sell when I'd rather be photographing Cambodian temples or naked men, THAT is inauthentic.
     
  13. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    You're quibbling about a space?
     
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  15. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Arguably, sellout is a noun and sell out is a verb, so there is a difference. :tongue:
     
  16. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    WTF is "authenticity"?
     
  17. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Not a bad question.
     
  18. Videbaek

    Videbaek Member

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    What is "authenticity" indeed...

    The good thing about authenticity is that it is so incredibly rare in every field of human expression. My wife is a publisher, constantly on the look-out for interesting manuscripts (fiction) coming from all over the world. Publishing is a business, so she looks for manuscripts that have commercial potential -- meaning content that would be of interest to a sufficiently large body of people to make publishing a money-making proposition. Also, the work has to have something different, something unique and interesting, something authentic. I find this so instructive (I've read many of the raw manuscripts coming through the house). Everything but everything is a business, including art. The great painters of history produced pictures to make a living: almost everything they did was a commission, or made with a particular patron or buyer in mind. They tried to satisfy their customers but they also managed to satisfy themselves. This is the "art within the art": how to satisfy the customer's requirements while remaining true to one's own artistic temperament and vision? Very few achieve this. There are plenty of examples of "sell-outs": all the technically proficient landscape and portrait painters who have churned out pictures throughout history, undistinguished and unremarkable, and contentedly so. And the preceding has nothing to do with "commercial art", all the advertising, graphic design, interior design, corporate and communication picture-making that makes up the bulk of our man-made visual world. Personally, I have the greatest admiration and respect for many "commercial artists" who have worked within a genre and technical constraints to create important and intelligent work. By definition they are "sell-outs", and yet they transcend this and make it irrelevant. It can be done but it's very, very difficult and takes great talent and intelligence. We all have to make a living, artists too.
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Two perfect examples of what you speak of above: Thomas Kincade and Anne Geddes. They both bring tremendous talent to bear on the most horrendously kitschy subject matter, in the most conservative of manners, and in the end produce meaningless schlock with high technical execution. The worst exemplars of art harnessed to commerce to the detriment of both.
     
  20. my_lonely_eye

    my_lonely_eye Member

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    You only lose your authenticity when your photographs lose soul.
     
  21. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Aaaah FC so if an artist finds a formula that is exceptionally appealing to buyers, then it is not authentic (WETF that is). Perhaps Geddes style of images are as pure a sense of self-expression to herself as oh say Mapplethorpe's to himself for example.

    The serious question I have is On what basis do we (as photographers or armchair art critics) judge this to be so?

    How on earth can the leap be made to say something like
    ?
     
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  22. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
    ...so if leonardo did work for other people on commission and produced art for them for money and did what they wanted him to do, it wasn't authentic.

    if you...


    It's really quite simple - these are the kinds of statements often made by what are generally referred to as "second year university students".

    In the USA we call these folk "Sophomores" and statements such as the one you quoted are considered "sophomoric". It is not a term of respect! :wink:
     
  23. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    If...and a big IF that most likely will be...I ever get to heaven, I must seek out Johann Sebastian and let him know what all the sophomores have concluded: His work has no soul, and is inauthentic since he, and all of his 17th and 18th century counterparts were in the employ of patrons, did their bidding, and were essentially artistic whores. He'll be so disappointed! After all that work he did on the countless oratorios, Brandenburg Concerti, Passions of St. John, St. Matthew, violin, cello, and keyboard sonatas, suites, inventions, partitas etc., and etc.......all that sublime work.........it's now deemed merely soulless, inauthentic commercial drivel by people younger than some of my socks. Yikes.... jordanstarr....you need to get back to class and learn a thing or two!
     
  24. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Well put me in a dress and call me a sophomore. Perhaps my slam of Anne Geddes is unwarranted - perhaps she is producing work that is 100% authentic to her personal vision.

    That said, I'll stand by my own critical evaluation that while it may be true to her vision, it is nonetheless commercialized hackery of the worst order. Pure kitsch in the negative sense.

    She has cottoned on to something that sells, and she is being rewarded financially for it, but in the end, her work will be forgotten. What kind of statement does her work make? Is there anything in any way shape or form intellectually provocative about her work? NO! It's a baby in a peapod costume! It's a half-step removed from William Wegman and his wiemaraners. Her work invokes a single response, every time - "AWWWW ISN"T THAT CUTE". BARF. A one-note, one-trick pony. There's no art in that- it's mechanical, mindless reproduction of assembly-line emotional trickery. It works very much like a well-crafted TV commercial for junk food, playing to a strong instinctual response that overrides any analytical frontal-lobe engagement. She is the artistic equivalent of chocolate-covered JuJu Beans.

    This is why I say her work is inauthentic - it is so utterly devoid of any other content than emotional manipulation of the weak-minded. There is no richness, no texture. It lacks the capacity to engage the viewer on diverse and multiple levels. While it may as such be "authentic" to her personal vision, and it may be entertaining to some (or many), and it may be highly successful in achieving its mission, it is most certainly not ART, because it expresses only one goal and one vision - to get you to buy more of it through emotional manipulation. THAT qualifies as inauthentic in my book.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2007
  25. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Huh?

    I thought we were talking about jordanstarr? :confused:
     
  26. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    That was in response to John McCallum's comments directed at me.