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Thread: Ayn Rand's POV

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromo33333 View Post
    Donald,

    This is Dianne, writing from Brent/Bromo's account. I have an BFA in photography and MFA in intermedia (photography, video, artists books). This comment you made about being in an artistic field and being under the "mistaken" presumption that it involves creativity...I recognize this as an artist questioning his/her decision from long ago to become an artist.

    I too have over 20 years experience as an artist, and have felt the ups and downs (mostly the downs) the whole time. While I don't have any pithy comments or advice that will sound sincere, let me just say that I can relate. Ultimately, I think it is up to you to determine whether your pursuits are worthwhile. Leaving it to other people (living or dead) to determine the worth of what you do is truly a disservice to you.

    Cheers,
    Dianne

    Dianne,


    Thank you for your post. I have reflected and ruminated on what you have written here because quite honestly what you seem to have said is totally disconnected from what I have written, stated or intended to say.

    You seem to take it that I am experiencing some angst in my creative endeavors involving photography. While that may have happened in the past, I assure you that is not the case today . I do have a differing viewpoint with those who think that most commonly produced photography qualifies as being artistic output.

    I do believe that art does have the ingredient of creativity and for you to say that I am mistaken in that viewpoint leaves me somewhat aghast.

    Nowhere did I say that I was leaving it to others to evaluate the "artistic worth" of my photography. I photograph for myself, first and foremost, if others take away something from viewing it, that becomes another matter entirely.

    Perhaps I need to explain a bit more about what I mean and where I am coming from. Taking photographs of "known objects" and rendering them as representation of the same on a print is simply "illustration" to me. I say this with the qualifier that the photograph tells us nothing more than that "this is a "known object". Photographs that illustrate seek to convey information and no matter how well composed and cleverly endered it may be it is conveying nothing more than information. IN most cases this is information that we already have and awareness that we already possess. Therefore it does not surprise me that these sorts of images do nothing to universally appeal, touch, or motivate.

    Art by comparison seems to me to seek to address more of the "conditions of human beings" and in so doing either has the capacity to touch us in a universal way or poses questions that we all might have rather than attempting to tell us something. Art is not only about beauty...while that may be part of artistic output, to limit it to that seems to be too short sighted.

    Illustration to me is about "things" while art to me is about "concepts, conditions, and ideas".

    I hope that this serves to explain more of what I mean when I say what I say.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  2. #22
    Pastiche's Avatar
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    I hope not to intrude -

    But -

    Donald, I think your formulation of artistic qualities is rather well put - i.e. on the money, gnat's ass, etc. etc...

  3. #23

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    I once happened upon a site of Randroid film and art criticism and it blew my mind so badly I forgot to bookmark it.

  4. #24
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Great heavens!! Why all this intense reaction to someone else's OPINION??

    I don't happen to share the same viewpoint, but hammering anyone's opinion into a gauge of "rightness" or "wrongness" defeats the entire entire process of "connecting to another being"!

    I see one major point in Ms. Rand's argument; that although there is a "soul connectivity" present in photography, there is also a (same? - debateable?) "soul connectivety" present in "purely utilitarian" objects ( ... oh the hell with it ...), therefore .... "It is of no importance."
    Say whut?? Anyone studying Logic 101 can construct the "circles" on that one. Condensing - the the presence of a characteristic in another, dissimilar, place doees NOT automatically deny its presence in the original.
    "Art" (anyone care to ressurect that discussion?) and its mainfestations are everywhere!

    What I see here is realy not an argument over whether photography - or anything else - is art or not; It is the classic discussion of "Creativity" or "Capture".

    Let us consider the time line ... what comes first?

    In my book it is the recognition of the "art" ... that ultimatey mystical process that fires our consciousness and causes us to begin the process of "capture". The factors affecting this are - or are close to, infinite - our life experiences; our "conditioning"; our education, social pressures, desire to "belong".... when do we get to infinty?
    Then, it is ALL "technical" - whether photography, or paint brush, or charcoal on the cave wall, or a chisel, or a pen on a piece of paper. Some may be more "effecient" than others - but that inefficiency in itself can become (and usually IS) a viable "ingredient" in the expresson of the "art".

    I think I just said. "The media is NOT the `art'". Closely related, though.

    Am I "right"? *I* think so - but I doubt (seriously - BIG TIME) that everyone else out there will agree.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #25
    RAP
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    John Galt! That was his name, Thank you Ralph. Yes John Galt and that elusive formula for extracting static electricity from the atmosphere. I read Atlas Shrugged for a philosophy class in college and reread it many times over since. John Galt was one of my heroes! But so was AA.

    Try doing some research in the psychology of the creative mind, creative genius, creative thinking process and science and the arts, the discovery of the double helix, bi-polar disorder. Also Einstein and Bach Fugues, watch that movie, "A Beautiful Mind" that Ron Howard produced.

    Technical/illustrative vs. art occurs across all mediums. Before the discovery of the camera and the photographic process there were only drawings, paintings to illustrate life, news, advertising.

    You could compare the paintings that were used to glorify war and great and noble battles with the early photographs that only depicted the stark, horrid reality of blood and dismembered bodies. Both evoked strong emotions from viewers, but from directly opposite points of view.

    Read up on Man Ray's work, particularly his rayographs or photograms, made without cameras, where essentially you place objects directly on top of light sensitive paper and expose it, the very heart of the technical side of the photographic process. I did these as part of my Photo 1 class in college.

    Well photography is art, technical and illustrative, but so are drawings, paintings, sculpture, etc, etc....All depends on your point of view.

    Not bad for a dreary, stormy 8:30 am in NJ. MORE COFFEE!!!!
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  6. #26
    Bromo33333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach View Post
    Great heavens!! Why all this intense reaction to someone else's OPINION??

    I don't happen to share the same viewpoint, but hammering anyone's opinion into a gauge of "rightness" or "wrongness" defeats the entire entire process of "connecting to another being"!

    [snip]

    What I see here is really[sic] not an argument over whether photography - or anything else - is art or not; It is the classic discussion of "Creativity" or "Capture".

    [snip]

    In my book it is the recognition of the "art" ... that ultimatey mystical process that fires our consciousness and causes us to begin the process of "capture". The factors affecting this are - or are close to, infinite - our life experiences; our "conditioning"; our education, social pressures, desire to "belong".... when do we get to infinty?

    [snip]

    I think I just said. "The media is NOT the `art'". Closely related, though.

    Am I "right"? *I* think so - but I doubt (seriously - BIG TIME) that everyone else out there will agree.
    We were trying to convey 3 major points.

    1. The main argument of "what is art and what is not art" is really subtle since most people when presented with a painting and ask if they think it is art - even if it is representational - will say "yes" and if you were to show them Duchamp's "Fountain" (fountain) they would likely say "no" even though it was a very influential art piece. If you were to show them a picture of the urinal or painting to a bystander, they might say "no" or "yes" depending upon if they thought it was a tourist snap shot or some sort of intended art.

    2. One of the main factors in art is intent. While this is a modern definition, the photo as described in #1, the bystander is trying to guess the intent. (And this is usually based upon something they have seen before as defined as "art" or "not art").

    3. It seems one of the original posters is trying to figure out (in very long and overly flowered prose) where he fits in the "illustration/art" hierarchy, OR is trying to say that everyone else here is not an artist (thereby placing himself at the "top") - this ranking is the part that is ultimately futile and somewhat incendiary.

    And the bottom line is that Ayn Rand herself, in _The Fountainhead_ denounced those that look to others for approval, ESPECIALLY in artistic/architectural endeavors. The whole book was about this. So people wringing their hands about whether Ayn Rand thinks photography is art or not (asking for HER approval) - is a rather rich irony.
    B & D
    Rochester, NY
    ========================
    Quiquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur

  7. #27
    Bromo33333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAP View Post

    Technical/illustrative vs. art occurs across all mediums. Before the discovery of the camera and the photographic process there were only drawings, paintings to illustrate life, news, advertising.

    [...]
    Well photography is art, technical and illustrative, but so are drawings, paintings, sculpture, etc, etc....All depends on your point of view.

    Not bad for a dreary, stormy 8:30 am in NJ. MORE COFFEE!!!!
    Agreed - before photography, most painting and sculpture were really trades. The idea of painting for its own sake as is expected today, really didn't happen until photography came on the scene.

    I think intent is so important in this sort of art - that it has to be the definition. But also, if an artist doesn't question or worry if they are "really" making art, it would be highly unusual.
    B & D
    Rochester, NY
    ========================
    Quiquid Latine dictum sit altum viditur

  8. #28

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    I understand the point of view that a photograph can’t be a work of art because one does not start from a blank canvas creating something conceived purely from the mind.

    If I photograph a tree, I have simply recorded an object. I did not create the tree, the sunlight or the shadows. I can however change the reality of the tree rendering it in abstract shades of black and white. I can enhance light and shadow with exposure and printing. I can alter the perspective relationships of objects in the scene. Select a detail for scrutiny or include it as part of a larger vista. I can use focus to emphasize a particular portion of the scene. I could go as far as to handcolor or tone my print. You still have to conceptualize what you want in the final print and the above are the tools (same as brush and palette) to get you there. So perhaps someone who simply points and shoots and has a machine make the print is a recorder of reality, but someone who approaches the subject with a specific end interpretation in mind is an artist in the creative sense of the word. One can also argue that the real art in photography is the selection and framing of the image itself.

    The OP suggests that ordinary, utilitarian objects are not art, but I would have to disagree. There are a great number of examples of cars, bulidings, furniture even appliances that IMHO qualify as art.

    I don't consider the above approach any different then Van Gogh painting sunflowers, Monet water lilies or Rauschenberg using tossed out junk and detritus to make his combines. They did not create the components that make the subject of the work. They do interpret them in their own way.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  9. #29

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    And besides, the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian both say photogrpahy is art. So there.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller View Post
    Hmm...so art is all about technical matter? I wonder how the "technical in art" manifests this tendency that elevates and feeds and advances the artistic human in mind in all of its (sp) creativity". Please tell me how that happens.

    Interesting judgement that you made of oil painters. I wonder how many viable and legitimate artists share your viewpoint.
    Is there a Hasselblad on the moon?

    I'm sorry. I was up late, very cranky and was overcome with the creative urge to produce a rendition of bovine excrement in the key of Rand.

    Of course art is not all about the tools used.

    Having walked in oil painter's shoes, I have only appreciation for what they can accomplish. I find this usually not to be a two-way street.

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