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Thread: Fine Art Status

  1. #71
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    If using your hands is the criteria for art why not just pick your nose while you hit the print button on your computer.
    Not sure if that's supposed to be humorous but I'll go under the assumption that it isn't.
    Years ago, I was granted a private tour of the Ferrari factory in Maranello. Having owned and raced a few (not F1 of course), I could appreciate what it took to build each one of those jewels. Not surprisingly, even though many parts are obviously machine made, you'd be surprised at how much of each car is assembled by hand, with painstaking attention to every small detail. There is a separate room where about 30 older women, who have been doing their job for a while, stitching leather for seats and dashboards. Experienced, older craftsman checking all sorts of parts for tolerances, assembling each one by hand. At the time, the assembly line for the F50 was about 15 mechanics working on one single car. THIS is why a Ferrari costs what it costs and those who can afford them are happy to pay $200K and up for a jewel of machinery. An automated factory, cranking out a car that may look similar and just as fast, or even faster, is simply not the same and really not the point. People pay more and see more value in unique, hand-crafted, pieces and that's the reality of it. It has always been that way. A digital print from a digital file may look the same and with less effort but it better be one heck of an image, and a huge print, to convince anyone with money and good taste to pay up.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go back to picking my nose with my ink-filthy fingers, then pulling some copper plate photogravure prints off the press, which I'm selling for $1200+
    That will always beat the heck out of picking my nose while pushing a button, unless of course, one is planning to make nose-picking an art form.

  2. #72
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    Originally Posted by Maris:
    With the proviso that "digital photography" isn't photography at all, it's "digital picture-making"
    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto View Post
    That is truly one of the most bizarre and self-evidently false statements I've ever heard someone make about photography. Photography is about capturing light via a light sensitive surface -- film, digital, platinum, whatever -- with or without a lens.
    An even deeper thought recognises that ALL pictures of things out there in the real world start with "capturing light via a light sensitive surface".

    For thousands of years the only light sensitive surface available was the megapixel sensor lying in the back of the eye that we now call the retina. All realist paintings and drawings start with this megapixel sensor intercepting the real optical image furnished by the eye-lens and cornea. The retina then transduces the image into a data stream that gets stored in memory. This memory is processed in the brain and is finally output in the form of a picture laid down by a mark-making device. The traditional "mark-making device" was a human hand pushing a paint brush or pencil.

    Digital picture-making offers an exactly analogous workflow to traditional painting and drawing. The separate roles of lens, megapixel sensor, transducer, data stream, memory, processing, and mark-making device match exactly.

    Making pictures out of light sensitive substances, photography in its true sense, is radically different! The photographic sensor is changed by the penetration of light and becomes, in situ, the picture itself. In particular there are no pixels in photography, no transducers, no data streams, no memories, no data processing, and no mark-makers. A photograph bears a physical and indexical relationship to its subject in the same way a footprint in a beach bears a physical and indexical relationship to the foot that made it.

    Photography, and indeed fine-art photography, is forever secure if its unique qualities are never muddled with those of drawing, painting, or digital.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  3. #73
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    First of all, many thanks to all for sharing, so openly, your different perspectives on what is art, art of photography, fine art, and photographic art. I am learning a lot about how fluid those ideas are, and I have a feeling that the concept might be a temporal one. I would like to ask you to humour me, please, and to follow a thought experiment, and to share your observations, if you would be so kind.

    Imagine that it is year 2112. Photography uses artificial intelligence technology, and images, flat, or multidimensional, or fully spatial, can be perfect representations of what was seen, with an optional multitude of applied corrections etc, all done within a matter of seconds, by commonly available, inexpensive equipment. Output is holography-like projected into space, or onto surfaces, and it is easy to make it indistinguishable from the real object, except, perhaps, when one wants to scale the image. You can even touch the projections, they are as soft or rough, as the original object was, unless one applied a creative manipulation, naturally. There are no "computers" as they were known in 2012: everyone just speaks, or simply thinks up their wishes, into the nearest Intelligent Thinking Cloud (ITC) Wish Receptor, and answers are given, things are purchased, actions happen, as required. No one uses old-fashioned "keyboards", of course.

    There is a group of "old school" photographers. They use an ancient technology, that requires the use of rare equipment that has not been produced for 70 years, but which can be restored by dedicated people. They are called "inkjet printers". Image making process requires hours of using a "keyboard", and a thing called a "mouse", that takes some 5-10 years to master the movement of, not to mention years spent learning the art of visualising on the "screen" what the "print" will look like, because the colours never really match each other, or your wishes, anyway. Sometimes, you have to go back to the beginning, make changes, and repeat—you cannot just wish your idea into a Wish Receptor, because "computers" fundamentally do not understand human wishes, and they lack such receptors. You also need to make "ink" from rare, often toxic, chemicals, that are difficult to source, very expensive due to the scarcity of some of the precious ingredients, and, needless to say, requiring plenty of skill, just like the making of "paper" requires, which has nothing in common with that Bioquantic ITC Holopaper that materialises in front of you, as needed, unless the Cloud is in a temporarily bad mood, every Monday morning.

    Above all, creation of an image, beautiful, but so old-fashioned, and with that retro "digital" look, counting perhaps as few as 800 megapixels, requires hours spent in front of a "screen", using a "computer", which breaks often, runs "software" that is often annoying, hangs up, is very unintuitive to use, relies on oddest ideas called "layers", and lots of numbers that always say 255... After spending hours tiring their minds, developing hand injuries, and shortening their lives from breathing toxic "ink" fumes, these amazing individuals, through the hard work of their hands and minds, create sometimes beautiful objects, which they call "traditional inkjet photographs". One has to admire their dedication, in the era of everything being made automatically, with no human intervention, by the ITC. In fact, to some art historians, these individuals, who can manually operate "computers", are reminiscent of 20th century photographers, who also created art by hand, by operating a primitive, but very satisfying to use objects, in labs, which they called "darkrooms".

    However, there is a discussion just going on, on the APUG-Thought-Sharing-Collective, to decide if images produced using the ITC can be called fine art. It seems, that, unlike those who used computers in the past, people of today, who do everything by means of thinking an idea into the Cloud, cannot be equalled to the artisans and craftsmen of the long forgotten era.

    Are the ITC photographers creating fine art, or just decorative products? Is fine art so abstract as to be always separable from its medium, or is the medium a holistic part of what makes art?
    Last edited by Rafal Lukawiecki; 10-17-2012 at 06:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafal Lukawiecki View Post
    First of all, many thanks to all for sharing, so openly, your different perspectives on what is art, art of photography, fine art, and photographic art. I am learning a lot about how fluid those ideas are, and I have a feeling that the concept might be a temporal one. I would like to ask you to humour me, please, and to follow a thought experiment, and to share your observations, if you would be so kind.

    Imagine that it is year 2112. Photography uses artificial intelligence technology, and images, flat, or multidimensional, or fully spatial, can be perfect representations of what was seen, with an optional multitude of applied corrections etc, all done within a matter of seconds, by commonly available, inexpensive equipment. Output is holography-like projected into space, or onto surfaces, and it is easy to make it indistinguishable from the real object, except, perhaps, when one wants to scale the image. You can even touch the projections, they are as soft or rough, as the original object was, unless one applied a creative manipulation, naturally. There are no "computers" as they were known in 2012: everyone just speaks, or simply thinks up their wishes, into the nearest Intelligent Thinking Cloud (ITC) Wish Receptor, and answers are given, things are purchased, actions happen, as required. No one uses old-fashioned "keyboards", of course.

    There is a group of "old school" photographers. They use an ancient technology, that requires the use of rare equipment that has not been produced for 70 years, but which can be restored by dedicated people. They are called "inkjet printers". Image making process requires hours of using a "keyboard", and a thing called a "mouse", that takes some 5-10 years to master the movement of, not to mention years spent learning the art of visualising on the "screen" what the "print" will look like, because the colours never really match each other, or your wishes, anyway. Sometimes, you have to go back to the beginning, make changes, and repeat—you cannot just wish your idea into a Wish Receptor, because "computers" fundamentally do not understand human wishes, and they lack such receptors. You also need to make "ink" from rare, often toxic, chemicals, that are difficult to source, very expensive due to the scarcity of some of the precious ingredients, and, needless to say, requiring plenty of skill, just like the making of "paper" requires, which has nothing in common with that Bioquantic ITC Holopaper that materialises in front of you, as needed, unless the Cloud is in a temporarily bad mood, every Monday morning.

    Above all, creation of an image, beautiful, but so old-fashioned, and with that retro "digital" look, counting perhaps as few as 800 megapixels, requires hours spent in front of a "screen", using a "computer", which breaks often, runs "software" that is often annoying, hangs up, is very unintuitive to use, relies on oddest ideas called "layers", and lots of numbers that always say 255... After spending hours tiring their minds, developing hand injuries, and shortening their lives from breathing toxic "ink" fumes, these amazing individuals, through the hard work of their hands and minds, create sometimes beautiful objects, which they call "traditional inkjet photographs". One has to admire their dedication, in the era of everything being made automatically, with no human intervention, by the ITC. In fact, to some art historians, these individuals, who can manually operate "computers", are reminiscent of 20th century photographers, who also created art by hand, by operating a primitive, but very satisfying to use objects, in labs, which they called "darkrooms".

    However, there is a discussion just going on, on the APUG-Thought-Sharing-Collective, to decide if images produced using the ITC can be called fine art. It seems, that, unlike those who used computers in the past, people of today, who do everything by means of thinking an idea into the Cloud, cannot be equalled to the artisans and craftsmen of the long forgotten era.

    Are the ITC photographers creating fine art, or just decorative products? Is fine art so abstract as to be always separable from its medium, or is the medium a holistic part of what makes art?

    As in the words of the great, Neil Peart...RUSH, 2112!

    ..'The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I
    Have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated
    And directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after by
    The benevolent wisdom of the priests...'

    We've taken care of everything
    The words you hear, the songs you sing
    The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
    It's one for all and all for one
    We work together, common sons
    Never need to wonder how or why

    We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
    Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
    We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
    All the gifts of life are held within our walls

    Look around at this world we've made
    Equality our stock in trade
    Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
    Oh, what a nice, contented world
    Let the banners be unfurled
    Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand

    We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
    Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
    We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
    All the gifts of life are held within our walls

    [III. Discovery]

    '... Behind my beloved waterfall, in the little room that was hidden beneath the cave, I
    Found it. I brushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up, holding it reverently in
    My hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was beautiful...'

    '... I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and to turn the keys to make them sound
    Differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced my first harmonious sounds
    And soon my own music! How different it could be from the music of the Temples! I can't wait
    To tell the priests about it!...'

    What can this strange device be?
    When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
    It's got wires that vibrate and give music
    What can this thing be that I found?

    See how it sings like a sad heart
    And joyously screams out it's pain
    Sounds that build high like a mountain
    Or notes that fall gently like rain

    I can't wait to share this new wonder
    The people will all see it's light
    Let them all make their own music
    The Priests praise my name on this night

    [IV. Presentation]

    '... In the sudden silence as I finished playing, I looked up to a circle of grim,
    Expressionless faces. Father Brown rose to his feet, and his somnolent voice echoed
    Throughout the silent Temple Hall...'
    '... Instead of the grateful joy that I expected, they were words of quiet rejection!
    Instead of praise, sullen dismissal. I watched in shock and horror as Father Brown ground
    My precious instrument to splinters beneath his feet...'

    I know it's most unusual
    To come before you so
    But I've found an ancient miracle
    I thought that you should know
    Listen to my music
    And hear what it can do
    There's something here as strong as life
    I know that it will reach you

    Yes, we know, it's nothing new
    It's just a waste of time
    We have no need for ancient ways
    The world is doing fine
    Another toy will help destroy
    The elder race of man
    Forget about your silly whim
    It doesn't fit the plan

    I can't believe you're saying
    These things just can't be true
    Our world could use this beauty
    Just think what we might do
    Listen to my music
    And hear what it can do
    There's something here as strong as life
    I know that it will reach you

    Don't annoy us further!
    We have our work to do
    Just think about the average
    What use have they for you?
    Another toy will help destroy
    The elder race of man
    Forget about your silly whim
    It doesn't fit the Plan!

  5. #75
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Yes I do think that if in 2112 photography is sold mainly as "holography-like projected into space, or onto surfaces, easy to make and indistinguishable from the real object" anybody painstakingly fighting with ink-jets and colour managed computer process will, artistic quality and appeal of the work apart, have an edge as he will be selling more "handicraft" objects.

    The problem here is that this ink-jet computer driven technology is able to output several copies which are perfectly identical and so lose a big part of the handicraft appeal.

    The traditional darkroom photographer in 2112 will - artistic quality and merit aside - have an edge also in 2112 because his process will be perceived as more handicraft than ink-jet printing, being so.

    This is in fact at work in today world. A statue from a plaster cast can be made visually indistinguishable from a statue which was actually sculpted by the hand of the sculptor "breathing" all the marble dust and carefully chipping away the matter. Given the identical visual appeal and artistic merit of two such statues, the sculpted one will always command a higher price than the series production cast.

    The eye will see them identically in the garden but the the mind knows there is a difference and the mind matters. It's not just the scarcity, it's the "halo of sanctity" of the hand work which IMO still sells a lot.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  6. #76
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    We are like any stage in human evolution, producing future antiques which may or may not be prized by future generations. But only some chemical images will endure the test of time and what marks these out against the rest? I suppose only time will tell.

    A lot depends on circumstance. For instance, without Berenice Abbott the work of Atget could have been lost forever.
    Last edited by cliveh; 10-17-2012 at 01:52 PM. Click to view previous post history.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  7. #77

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    "Art" or worse, "Fine Art" has long been a bullshit term that can be made to mean anything, and is
    largely related to the "art of the bluff". The best thing that could ever happen to photography is if
    the term "art" didn't even exist - and I'm stating that as somone whose own work is now almost
    exlusively sold within that very category. For all those wannabee "artistes" out there... just put you work on the wall and shut up. I don't want to read anymore idiotic mission statements or fluff-headed New York artspeak.

  8. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafal Lukawiecki View Post

    Imagine that it is year 2112. Photography uses artificial intelligence technology, and images, flat, or multidimensional, or fully spatial, can be perfect representations of what was seen, with an optional multitude of applied corrections etc, all done within a matter of seconds, by commonly available, inexpensive equipment.
    Photography will not even exist in the year 2112 as it is already turning into more of a language right now rather than something to creatively aspire to for example someone can send me a text asking how I am doing and I can take a self portrait of a smile or a frown and text it back to them I am not even typing right now but speaking into my iPhone and it is doing the typing for me

  9. #79
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    Drew, you need to come on by Santa Fe and read some of the artist bios and info here. Good stuff after a few beers.
    K.S. Klain

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    "Art" or worse, "Fine Art" has long been a bullshit term that can be made to mean anything, and is
    largely related to the "art of the bluff". The best thing that could ever happen to photography is if
    the term "art" didn't even exist - and I'm stating that as somone whose own work is now almost
    exlusively sold within that very category. For all those wannabee "artistes" out there... just put you work on the wall and shut up. I don't want to read anymore idiotic mission statements or fluff-headed New York artspeak.
    How sad and don't agree.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

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