Universal appreciation of photographic art

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I understand that Eskimos have more words to describe snow than people who have less experience of snow. They would therefore probably appreciate more variation of snow photographs than those who rarely see it. Do you think some types of photographic art have a universal appeal regardless of where they are viewed by different communities on the planet? Portraits for example and is this also different to a photographer’s appreciation?
     
  2. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I don't think any "genre" in any art form, photography or otherwise, can have universal appeal.
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What about the Beatles music?
     
  4. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Kids 'n animals...
     
  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Sunsets. Sunrises too.
     
  6. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Forensic linguistics can be rather tricky. When we think of Russia we often think of snow, the vast whiteness of the Russian steppes. You would assume that there are a lot of words meaning snow in the language. There is only a single noun transliterated as sneg (rhymes with egg). While English has a verb to snow there is no comparable verb in Russian. The closest a Russian can come to saying that "it is snowing" is to use the idiom "It goes snow. There are no words for yes and no in Irish. Does this mean that the Irish people are by nature indecisive. Certainly not. One has to be very careful when making inferences from a language. Eskimo may be like Navajo which lacks any adjectives. So while in English we can get by with a single noun and various adjectives to describe various types of snow, Eskimo may have to have individual words for each type. It would be forced on them by the nature of the language.
     
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  7. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    What an absolutely fascinating post!

    Ken
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Um, as I understand it, if you are of Inuit heritage, the word "Eskimo" is considered an offensive anachronism.

    Back on topic - I think that it can work in reverse.

    Show a nice seaside scene to someone from around here, and you may get a lukewarm reception. Show it to someone who lives in a desert environment, and the greater novelty may bring rise to a better response.

    This is one of the challenges of the internet world - there is a danger that every scene may become "commonplace".
     
  9. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Landscapes. Portraits. Nudes. Wildlife. Macro photography. Underwater photography.

    Just some guesses...
     
  10. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Because of our need, curiosity, fear etc, photographs of people or with people in them are probably universally intriguing to everyone. Historical photographs probably also fall into our curiosity of the past.

    Landscapes usually have an appeal if it's not what we see every day in our own experience.

    Unfortunately now with the bombardment of images we probably have become jaded to most pictures except the primal ones that deal with fear, sex, death, and maybe hope.
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Oh, wait. You said "art."

    Ok then- "erotica".
     
  12. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Not me.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    If the word Eskimo isn't politically correct these days they are going to have to re write the poem, because Inuit Nell just doesn't have the same ring to it :wink:
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Apparently the poorly translated Esquimaux means something like "eater of raw meat" to many, many people, and that is considered to be pejorative.

    Sort of like calling photographers "pixel peepers" :whistling:
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Only in velvet though.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    doesn't ilford make a velvet paper?

    "velvet stipple" :smile:
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Sadly, Ilford no longer makes paper with that surface:sad:
     
  20. Grumpyshutter

    Grumpyshutter Member

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    Do the Inuit have a phrase for “Don’t eat the yellow snow”?
     
  21. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Surely it has universal appeal, though?
     
  22. KenS

    KenS Member

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    Re "Universal appreciation of photographic art"

    Hi Clive,

    Withe reference to your opening sentence
    Note: I am NOT angry

    I'm not sure of where you live.. but 'these days' it is probably more politically correct to refer to the Northern Canadian aboriginal peoples (generally) as Inuit.

    I'm just finishing my BFA at the local university (yeah... at 73 its much easier haul that I expected) and in both my Native Art History courses it was indicated that 'they' prefer Inuit over 'Eskimo' which, if my ageing memory serves me well enough, was the word for 'raw flesh eater'... However.... it is a custom still observed on a successful seal hunt that the raw liver be eaten before it has had time to cool.

    Ken
     
  23. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I stand corrected and perhaps I should have said Inuit, as Eskimo is probably more a generic term.
     
  24. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    If the neighboring tribes referred to the Inuit as "eaters of raw flesh" I wonder what the Inuit called their neighbors?

    My reaction to most political correctness is colored by the legal maxim De minimis non curat lex. I remember reading an article in the Orlando Seninel scolding its readers not to refer to a particular type of radio as a "ghetto blaster." Do the radios get offended when they hear this term? So little of what is termed political correctness rises above mere silliness. Words have no power over us unless we give them this power. I learned this from my great uncle who lost his sight at the age of 18. Never once did I ever hear him express any self pity. If anyone had said that he was "challenged" he would have laughed at them and said something like "No you damn fool I'm blind." He had his own successful furniture business.
     
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  25. batwister

    batwister Member

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    If the pictures had some kind of aesthetic slant (with snow it would surely be about subtle tonalities, light and formal studies of drifts, etc), they wouldn't get it. They would need some understanding of the art of photography - which is an invention of western culture. An Inuit would read a photograph simply as a slightly beguiling illustration - meaning they might be able to identify a certain consistency of snow*, but the aesthetic appeal of the pictures would be lost on them. The art of photography isn't universal in that case.

    *I read something about indigenous Africans being shown photographs of flies that carried diseases, but they couldn't identify them because the pictures were macro. They had never seen flies magnified before, so couldn't process what they were seeing. In many ways, you can't see what you haven't seen before. A photograph shows the world in two dimensions, so the information is distorted from the get go. Snow, in a photograph, especially if it's covering the entire frame, can appear abstract even to us.
     
  26. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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