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Thread: Cutting Edge

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmdavis
    I'm not looking for the cutting edge.
    Mike Davis
    Many looked at the "cutting edge" during the french revolution - most didn't survive to tell the tale though. Kinda like all those kewl and hip youngsters (with strong forreign accents of course for an amplified effect) shooting xtreme fashion with barbie cams - nobody will remember them in ten years from now.

    Cheers,
    Chris, happily doing retro
    [SIZE=1]Tiptoeing through life's grand theater - and falling down flat.[/SIZE]

  2. #12
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    A cutting edge, having seen them in action, is a very uncomfortable place to be.

    But the OTHER problem with the concept of 'cutting edge' is as Heisenberg put it:
    "The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa."
    More or less, you can't plot the path and the velocity of a particle, or art form, at the same moment. You can't see where art is going, and where it is, at the same time. Observation becomes critical, for "The "path" comes into existence only when we observe it".

    It is, therefore, the observation that determines the 'cutting edge', not the artists. And observation of 'art' is seldom pure, rather observers look to satisfy their own taste, theories, and need. Trend spotters usually need to find the 'next big thing' to bring it first to market.

    So the 'cutting edge' can't exist beyond marketing hyperbole.

    We can only track a trend by looking backward. Picking up on trends, like wearing black and having 2 day stubble, is simply recognizing a budding conventionality.
    .

    Good answer.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #13
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Cutting edge photographers have a total willingness and ability to COMPLETELY re-examine what a photograph is meant to look like and if necessary abandon some or all of the conventional wisdom on this. There is and cannot be any restrictions of age or geographical location, the only limiting factor may be excessive contact with conventionally-minded workers, which can lead to mental traveling of ruts and blinkered thinking. The same applies to excessive technical knowledge of photography - high conventional skill levels are not necessarily bad, in this age of intelligent (mainly digital) equipment, the most striking images are LIKELY to be made by someone with no formal idea of what they are doing. The acid test of whether work is cutting edge is simple - is it referenced backwards, to what has been done in the past, or forwards, to an attempt to produce something that no one has seen before?

  4. #14
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Andy Warhol's pictures, when he first started with his polaroid things, were cutting edge.

    After they became well known and others started to copy the concept he pioneered, his pictures were no longer cutting edge!

    Mick.

  5. #15
    laz
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    Cutting edge photographers have a total willingness and ability to COMPLETELY re-examine what a photograph is meant to look like and if necessary abandon some or all of the conventional wisdom on this. There is and cannot be any restrictions of age or geographical location, the only limiting factor may be excessive contact with conventionally-minded workers, which can lead to mental traveling of ruts and blinkered thinking. The same applies to excessive technical knowledge of photography - high conventional skill levels are not necessarily bad, in this age of intelligent (mainly digital) equipment, the most striking images are LIKELY to be made by someone with no formal idea of what they are doing. The acid test of whether work is cutting edge is simple - is it referenced backwards, to what has been done in the past, or forwards, to an attempt to produce something that no one has seen before?
    Excellent, excellent! A perfect definition David.

    Often there is a knee-jerk rejection to any suggestion that the cutting edge is a good thing. The nay-sayers should keep in mind that their gods of "traditional" photography like Ansel Adams was on the cutting edge of his time and genre; the Zone System was cutting edge my friends.

    The cutting edge is not the place for everyone (no place ever is) sometimes I guess it's good thing that so called traditionalists are so dismissive of those who push the boundaries, I suspect it helps inspire them to prove them wrong. They often do and we look back and say they were on the cutting edge.

    Bob
    [SIZE=1]I want everything Galli has![/SIZE]
    [SIZE=1]I want to make images like Gandolfi![/SIZE]
    rlazell@optonline.net

  6. #16
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    I saw "cutting edge" or whatever you wish to call it last night in my darkroom. A friend was over doing a different process (for her) for film development. It worked out very well and she was excited with the possibilities now open to her. It was nice to be able to witness this moment in photographic history. tim

  7. #17
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    David and Don give excellent observations in my mind. In David's instance I think there tends to be an attempt or tendency to exceed for the sake of excess. Or that the pursuit of new can undermine the results.

    In Don's example people tend to need to put things in a context that is often just a contrivance.

    The pursuit as defined by David, when done consciously, can easily become a contrivance or can become something stunning. To decide today what is legitimate or truly cutting edge is like trying to write about tomorrow's history.

    Cutting edge has an imagery of being cool, young and wearing black, but that confuses popular culture and our tendency toward ageism with a clear fresh visual articulation. Or that if its new its youthfull and theat only the young and hip can be inventive. Saying something in a new way may be enhanced by a lack of exposure to convention or youth, but it isn't dependent upon it. Conversely, the study of convention and the historical can produce newness, by having a better idea of where we've been, what kind of messages, symbols, icons are important and why.

    I suspect I'm rambling.

    *

  8. #18
    rbarker's Avatar
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    "Cutting edge" is a matter of technology, "edgey" a matter of style. Both are far more transitory than the publicists wish to admit.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
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  9. #19
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    Ummm, my guess is that if it is large, digital, blurry, color and randomly composed it is cutting edge.

    I derive that definition because it is everything my work is not.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

    www.joelipkaphoto.com

    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  10. #20
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Good answer.


    Michael
    Thanks.

    Stole it.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

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