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  1. #1

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    2 different approaches to art/photography

    I found this article: http://chromogenia.typepad.com/artat..._the_beau.html

    and thought it would make an interesting discussion about current approaches to photography and how others approach the medium.

    What do you think?
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    There ought to be as many ways to approach photography as there are types of people.

    I've never considered myself a visual artist... it's coincidence that I get a picture as a result. I'm attracted to the ( gosh, I don't know how to put this ) 'emotion' or the 'time' : motion, or rhythm, of the picture. Certainly, printmaking is a visual art, but only to serve the image on the negative. So, things like detail and acutance are usually not that important to me, but tonality is essential. But that's me, and lots of folks make pictures to record infinitely fine details. Cool.
    "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

  3. #3
    jovo's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I entirely understand the idea of the "beautiful calculation", but I feel wary of it nonetheless. Something awful happened to 'serious' music during the 20th century when the notion of an underlying science nudged beauty and accessibility out of the way and substituted unique "systems" on it. When I was in conservatory many years ago, composition students found even the major contemporary composers anathema if they were at all approachable. As a consequence, much of what was composed also seemed to include long-winded technical explanations and even posited unique notation to make itself understood....which, by and large, it wasn't, and ISN"T!

    If art and photography go down a road that requires words to explain them, then much will be lost. Truly visual artists, and truly musical composers, make their art first. Then theorists get hold of it and try to figure out how, and why, or even whether or not it works in their view, and what its about technically. Often, they fail but persist nonetheless because its' their job and "art speaK" happens. I'll need a far more specific explanation of what is meant by a "beautiful calculaton" and how that's different than a visually organized and creative sensibility before I can give much more thought to this guy's thesis.
    John Voss

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  4. #4
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    The other thing that makes theory of art redundant for the artists is that frankly, most theories boil down to more or less the same things. Every one wants to create their own artistic language; everyone tries to create something predicated upon the idea of the beautiful, whether positively or negatively; everyone needs also some organizing concept or methodology to hold their ideas together that depends on some kind of logic.

    For me, differences in art boils down to the type of humans they speak to. You can't have Virgil nowadays, the same way you won't have Picasso during the Stone Age. And I don't mean it in the individual sense: good art is what I like; bad art is what you like. I mean it in the collective sense: the complex of social practices, the experience of life (you can't have Guernica outside of the Guernica massacre; no James Joyce without the modern capitalistic age). And I don't mean either to say that lyric expression is bad: lyric expression speaks to the individual who lives in a real world. But in the end a work of art always link back to a more general experience of life.

    I agree heartily with John, because even though I managed to find some great 20thC "serious" music (and that include John Cage, Arvo Pärt and Sonic Youth), I despise profundly the systematizers because any system of art is arbitrary, and thus creating a new one means nothing in itself.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  5. #5
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jovo
    ... Something awful happened to 'serious' music during the 20th century when the notion of an underlying science nudged beauty and accessibility out of the way and substituted unique "systems" on it. ... As a consequence, much of what was composed also seemed to include long-winded technical explanations and even posited unique notation to make itself understood....which, by and large, it wasn't, and ISN"T!

    If art and photography go down a road that requires words to explain them, then much will be lost. Truly visual artists, and truly musical composers, make their art first. Then theorists get hold of it and try to figure out how, and why, or even whether or not it works in their view, and what its about technically. ...
    Thanks, John. I though is was just me ...

    Cheers,

    David

  6. #6
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    There is a cosmic difference between Theory of Art, and "an artist's approach to art".

    How one works, why one works, how you solve the practical problems which are unique to you are "an artist's approach". No art-speak, no poo-pooing from electrical engineers. Just, this is what I want to do, this is what I want it to be, and given the self-knowledge which predicates all creative work, how I go about my business of making pictures.

    As for Art Theory, well, as an old teacher explained, "An individual's shortcoming is sin; practised as a Society it is an Evil."

    .
    "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

  7. #7

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    The problem with criticism is that it's linguistically based, practiced by those who's natural medium is the word, which itself is only the surrogate for an idea or concept. There's a strong bias, then, to impose a sort of conceptual primacy on all the works being criticized.

    My question about the "beautiful calculation" is whether it needs to be beautifully calculated ahead of time or whether it can naturally unfold from a consistent, but more intuitively derived aesthetic sense. Can others do the math for the hapless artist who just created a body of work he likes?

  8. #8
    Bill Mobbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
    I found this article: http://chromogenia.typepad.com/artat..._the_beau.html

    and thought it would make an interesting discussion about current approaches to photography and how others approach the medium.

    What do you think?

    "To me, the most simple and beautiful of all, at least for now, is pi".

    I can agree with that if, of course, it is apple ,peach, or cherry!

    I feel the most important thing to remember when reading this acticle is to try not to step in anything as you cross over!
    "Nobody is perfect! But even among those that are perfect, some are more perfect than others." Walt Sewell 1947



 

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