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  1. #21
    scootermm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Post-structuralists (post-modernists, deconstructionists, Lacanian psychoanalytics, pick your -ist) would have a field day of "Ah-hah! See? I told you so!" with that. The equivalence Stieglitz refers to would be seen as direct proof of the simulacrum-effect of representational communication. The photograph is only an inaccurate, false representation of the actual feeling, because it is NOT the feeling itself. Just as the objects depicted in the photograph are not the objects themselves, but a two-dimensional representational reduction of the objects that serve as a communally-accepted shorthand for "truth". Truth of course cannot actually be communicated because even verbal communication is a substitution for the actual truth, and written communication is a substitution for verbal communication. Photographic communication complicates the failure to communicate truth because it is a reduction of a depicted object from three dimensions to two, and an abstraction of the characteristics of that object into silver grains and pigments, which stand in for the tones and colors of the object.
    MFA/Artspeak
    Anyway, enough Po-Mo BS about photography. Just go out and make more of those beautiful things!
    myspeak


  2. #22

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    I respect Stieglitz and his motivations for making a photograph.
    I have always rather liked the simplicity of Garry Winogrand.

    Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed. -Garry Winogrand

    I have a burning desire to see what things look like photographed by me. -Garry Winogrand , said when he was asked why he photographs.
    Last edited by Jim Chinn; 03-30-2007 at 02:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  3. #23
    Struan Gray's Avatar
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    I think I would like Stieglitz' "equivalents" more if just one of the clouds looked like a bunny, or a race car, or Winston Churchill with an extra big cigar. As it is, they look like clouds.

  4. #24
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Struan Gray View Post
    I think I would like Stieglitz' "equivalents" more if just one of the clouds looked like a bunny, or a race car, or Winston Churchill with an extra big cigar. As it is, they look like clouds.
    I've actually seen some of these clouds "in the flesh" as it were: 4x5 contact prints. Yes, it struck me that they were pictures of clouds, too. But as pictures of clouds go, they were extraordinary. Just my opinion.

  5. #25
    Struan Gray's Avatar
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    Maybe I need to see them in the flesh. I have seen reproductions at all possible sizes and print quality. I want to like them, or at least I feel I should be able to see something of what Stieglitz valued them for, but I just can't.

  6. #26
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    If you distill down all that artspeak I spewed, it actually makes quite a bit of sense, especially in light of Stieglitz' photos. He photographed those clouds, trying to capture on film some emotional response he had to seeing them. Even the titles are just suggestive symbols for what he felt, since you can't transmit an emotional response in a single word (or even a dictionary's worth). Words themselves are NOT feelings, and neither are pictures. We rely on the assumption that someone else will have a common experience with us when looking at the same subject. This is of course a false assumption, but a necessary one. If we could not rely on that assumption being logically valid a majority of the time, communication between two people would be impossible.

    A case in point -the color white. In western cultures, white is the color of weddings and celebrations. It represents purity. In Asian cultures, white is the color of death and mourning. If I were to photograph someone wearing all white, most westerners would look at it and think of positive events - weddings, First Communion, christenings, cocktail parties. Someone from China would look at it and wonder where's the funeral. Abstract this out to the notion of language - since the written (or even the spoken) word is an artificial idea, entirely man-made, why does the letter "e" HAVE to have the sound we associate with it? Monty Python spoofed this in a way when in a skit, a man walks into a store and tells the clerk, "My name is Snarglevarglebingbangbong"(or something like that, I can't remember the exact name), to which the clerk replies, "how do you spell that?" and he says, "S-M-I-T-H".

    All language really is is grunts,whistles and clicks coming out of our mouths, and scratches and squiggly lines on a piece of paper. It has no actual reality - it only means something because we agree that "camera" means a camera.

    The same is true of photographs - we have a common acceptance of what the photograph means because we have to in order to be able to interpret it. Like looking at a cloud, though, you can see a racecar and I can see Pam Anderson in a bikini in that cloud. When we have that big of a disconnect, we can't arrive at a common meaning.

  7. #27
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    If you distill down all that artspeak I spewed, it actually makes quite a bit of sense, especially in light of Stieglitz' photos. He photographed those clouds, trying to capture on film some emotional response he had to seeing them. Even the titles are just suggestive symbols for what he felt, since you can't transmit an emotional response in a single word (or even a dictionary's worth). Words themselves are NOT feelings, and neither are pictures. We rely on the assumption that someone else will have a common experience with us when looking at the same subject. This is of course a false assumption, but a necessary one. If we could not rely on that assumption being logically valid a majority of the time, communication between two people would be impossible.

    A case in point -the color white. In western cultures, white is the color of weddings and celebrations. It represents purity. In Asian cultures, white is the color of death and mourning. If I were to photograph someone wearing all white, most westerners would look at it and think of positive events - weddings, First Communion, christenings, cocktail parties. Someone from China would look at it and wonder where's the funeral. Abstract this out to the notion of language - since the written (or even the spoken) word is an artificial idea, entirely man-made, why does the letter "e" HAVE to have the sound we associate with it? Monty Python spoofed this in a way when in a skit, a man walks into a store and tells the clerk, "My name is Snarglevarglebingbangbong"(or something like that, I can't remember the exact name), to which the clerk replies, "how do you spell that?" and he says, "S-M-I-T-H".

    All language really is is grunts,whistles and clicks coming out of our mouths, and scratches and squiggly lines on a piece of paper. It has no actual reality - it only means something because we agree that "camera" means a camera.

    The same is true of photographs - we have a common acceptance of what the photograph means because we have to in order to be able to interpret it. Like looking at a cloud, though, you can see a racecar and I can see Pam Anderson in a bikini in that cloud. When we have that big of a disconnect, we can't arrive at a common meaning.
    Then again, maybe pictures of things are just pictures of things?

  8. #28

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    Seems Stieglitz was a photographic artist, not a photographer.

  9. #29
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    History of Photography 101

    I start to wonder how much reading people do in this forum. Yes, Stieglitz referred to them as 'equivalents' - something I thought was kind of cool when I learned that at the tender young age of 16. Great. He's drawing an 'equivalence' between the 'placeholder' (image) and the feeling the image gives him. Probably - he was cashing in on stuff that was going on in the community at large (vis a vis Freud, etc...). But I think it made a whole lot of sense, certainly, at the time.

    I would think, also, that late model Americans would be able to relate to this, as they (we) seem to use (spoken) language in a very similar fashion... i.e. - the word "exploit" = something negative, instead of taking on a contextual meaning - which it OUGHT to do.

    But I think it's a pretty simple concept that isn't all that deep - I can't imagine people thinking so one-dimensionally that they can't get their heads around it. But I wonder sometimes, here on these forums, what people are thinking (i.e. - referring to themselves as 'pictorialists' - ...??????)...

    who knows.

  10. #30
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colivet View Post
    Seems Stieglitz was a photographic artist, not a photographer.
    Hey - call it what you want as long as you take responsibility for owning the differentiation.

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