Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
by sarah richards
Thursday, September 18, 2008
After reading Caitlin's blog down there about the Quizoola "performance", I'm a little relieved that my standing in line for 45 minutes to see Quizoola did not actually result in my viewing the show. Standing in line for 45 minutes, however, combined with waiting for the following night's musical act Brother and Sister, who were a full hour late getting on stage did lead me to believe that "time based 'art'" requires a lot of time spent waiting. At the risk of totally missing the point of my attendance to the event, i will say that it was the time i spent either waiting in line or just hanging out drinking beer waiting for a late act that really stuck out to me...I wasted a lot of time waiting around for time based art to happen.
However, I did finally see Brother and Sister play their raucous, dirty music for the seemingly (before I saw the show) modest price of $10. I love fast, dirty, and loud music. Just not necessarily by these two yahoos. They were dressed as cavemen; Sister on drums and Brother on guitar/vocals....The music was far from impressive. However, I could tell they were having a blast; in fact the chorus to one of their songs, to which the audience was instructed to sing along, was "I'm gonna do something awesome with my life!". Well, they weren't starting here. The fun factor was great, but drawing a giant marker-sketch of Jimi Hendrix using a marker taped to the end of your guitar while playing it is something I would have been more impressed seeing in a high school talent show.
When reading this article I felt indifferent. I feel that when you see something that strikes you, it doesn' t matter what the medium, or combination of mediums are. Digitally enhancing images is just adding something to it that would make you think more, or help the artists convey what they were trying to. Using a computer imaging program allows you to be as diverse as you want to, it is just another way of expressing yourself. Digital Photography is now its own genre in my opinion; because it has spread greatly and is easily sharable and accessible by the Internet. Do you think that Digital Photography could be considered a genre of Photography; like how there are different genres of painting?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
It would seem to me that Plagens' argument somewhat resembles that of realist artists reacting against the school of impressionism. What does that mean exactly? Well, that in a century no one will care about the difference between mimesis and the more 'unreal' aspects of photography---it will all be photography anyway, right? I think that it is perhaps evident that he misses the point when he bemoans photographic art's move away from depicting reality. For instance, such great impressionistic art as Van Gogh's Starry Night was anything but realistic---but the essential fact remains that this is great art.
Okay guys, earlier in class I just brought in a print out of the "Mona lisa" for High art and a piece of scrapbook paper for low art. So I thought I would make this a little more interesting by adding something to the blog instead. I went to Vegas last weekend and I'm mad that I didn't take any pictures of any art this time since I wasted my days sleeping, but I have a few from before so hope you guys like it....
Mike Daisey's "MONOPOLY!" tells several stories, including his own childhood tales of a Wal-Mart moving into his hometown and popular misconception about history like Nicola Tesla's struggle with Edison's stronghold over the electricity industry. These stories are beautifully blended and woven together to create a wholly awesome call-to-action or at least something to kick start our minds in the right direction against the tyrannous reign of multinational corporations in today's culture and society.
"Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot," she wrote. "It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don't quite mean they're my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats."
Between this class and my digital imaging class, I've been reading a lot about how photography is controversially "dead", or "not dead".
In "Is Photography Dead", Peter Plagens essentially points out that the "original" craft of photography is dead. The intent of photography once being to show a truth. Where photography now can be tweaked, touched up, enhanced, or taken digitally with a number of filters so that it no longer looks natural. Sure, if as Plagens believes, Photography was ONLY there to capture "truth" as the eye sees it, then I suppose THAT aspect of Photography is not exactly the same.
All cameras now have built in filters and color selection modes and presets that allow the user to take pictures that aren't exactly "true" as the eye sees it. But does that make it not true? It's how the picture is taken at the time the shutter release is pressed.
The photo that I shared above is a slightly tweaked picture. It is a process called HDRI. That is, High Dynamic Range Imaging. You essentially photograph the picture underexposed, correctly exposed, and overexposed, then use a program like Photomatix, or Photoshop CS3 to meld those various images into one beautiful image. It allows you to get the FULL range of contrast AND detail without blowing it out, or losing data in the shadows. You essentially get the best of all points in an image, which leaves you with a picture SO real that it's unreal. So while nothing in it has been CHANGED, it's not exactly the truth either, because you are blending three or more separate images in order to obtain one.
When Plagens talks about photography being "dead", he's not exactly correct. As the phographer Lisette Model said, "Photography is the easiest art, which perhaps makes it the hardest". Sure, anyone can snap a picture on a camera, but it takes a keen eye and a creative spirit to capture an image that inspires someone, or at the very least, captures an image so beautiful that when people look at it they are moved emotionally.
So in my opinion, Photography is NOT dead. It's just evolved to a point where everyone can be involved and share *their* visions, and it allows the photographer to paint with light, creating masterpieces of nature and technology alike.
A few more examples of this to share.
Have you ever wanted to see the world but didnt want to leave your back yard? In Khris Soden Portland tour of Tilburg you are transported to Tilburg a city in the Netherlands. it first started by leaving the train station in Tilburg, traveled around the city and ended up back at our starting point. I first got there and and met Khris, introduced my self and explained that i was a a student at WSU. He said that he usually did not address this but did explain that some tools he used in creating this were Google maps to over lay the cities and email to communicate to his friends in Tilburg, and a digital camera for the photos in his supplement book.
On the tour we wound our way around downtown portland stopping at point of interest and specific buildings. Khis had mentioned before we left that we could take the book of pictures with us or not because then we could have a different experience. I took the book so that i could get a sense of what Tilburg was like. One thing i notice right away was that as we were walking people would look at us an wonder what we were doing, it was great. I even felt like i was part of the performance. One lady even came up to us and asked if we were on a city tour. On of the other "tourist" said we were on a tour of a city in Holland, Im not sure that she understood. What was a interesting coincidence is how some buildings lined up like the Hilton in portland, was where the Church was in Tilburg, or the Scottish Statue was, represented by a parking meter. The whole tour which was his first performance was about 1.25 hours. He has plans to do a Tilburg tour of portland. It would be interesting to know what the locals there think of the City of Roses.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I saw Mike Daisey's monologue; "If You See Something, Say Something". It was about national security. I didn't really know what to expect. Pretty much the reason I picked to go to it was because in the description of the show it mentioned that he was on NPR and I like NPR.
Anyway I ended up liking it alot. I took my mom and she really liked it too. I wish I could have seen his other performance, Monopoly.
Anyway, in If You See Something, Say Something he told kind of three different stories all relating to the atomic bomb. It was really good and funny.
Also, before the show started there were these two girls sitting in front of us and pretty much out of no where on girl threw a cup of red wine at the other girl then she ran away, the wine thrower, not the victim. The girl was totally covered in red wine, and wine also got on my mom, she was wearing all white too.
Monday, September 15, 2008
England, in a nutshell, is a narrative presented as a stream of consciousness. We are given the introspective, and at times random declarations of a London woman living in a flat with her sometimes negligent Dutch boyfriend, who happens to sell art. Eventually we learn through the characters thoughts that her heart is in fact failing due to some sort of disease. England is performed both by Crouch and Hannah Ringham whom, as Crouch explained to me later, is actually from London. I must say that both actors played off of each other wonderfully; in fact, the timing was perfect enough to induce an utterly surreal feeling throughout the entire performance.
Another interesting aspect of England is the fact that it is neither performed on a stage nor to a seated audience for the majority of the performance. It's incredibly odd to look into the smiling, yet slightly oblivious face of an actor who, standing a mere six feet from you, estatically declares "I have a boyfriend!"
Anyway, the bottom line is is you missed Englandyou missed out. Perhaps you saw some of the more stupid stuff at TBA:08?
This was one of the few in-class videos I have seen that I actually enjoyed, and even learned something from. I was really impressed with how many different aspects of the history of photography were not only addressed in this video, but discussed in elaborate detail. What I enjoyed most about this video was realizing the potential that photography has to unite people. That was made very clear when the video addressed photography in the different wars, and the depression. This video did an excellent job of portraying photography not only as an art, but a language that speaks to all who are willing to listen.
The series, American Photography, captures the way photography and art have come to where they are now. I really enjoyed seeing how the first cameras were used and how the whole world of photography started. A lot of interesting facts that I wasn't aware of and photography is one of my passions I really enjoy so that educated me further on how it all happened. The photos shown throughout the whole series were inspirational.
The video American Photography: A Century of Images presented tons of images that were very touching and heartfelt. It made me come to realize how important photography has been through out our lives. The third video presented in the series included the process on how forensics is used by computer imaging to find missing children. If it wasn’t for this process hundreds of children would probably still be missing… Sometimes when we are looking through the covers of magazines displayed at a newspaper stand at the airport, one doesn’t think about the true meaning behind the image. Can you think of a time when perhaps you did that? Photographs are altered in these front covers most of the time to give the audience a perception that is believable. A great example includes the many photographs taken during the O.J. Simpson trial. Some of the photos make Simpson look like a nice guy; others make him look like a scary monster. I must say it’s going to be easier to determine whether or not an image has been altered or not
Other emerging technologies have also helped to perpetuate the rise of photography. The ability to take a photo and send that image to the other side of the world in a matter of minutes is almost surreal.
Aside from the technological discussion the videos prompted in my head I was also taken aback by the shear genius of so many artists who have utilized this device as their medium for art. It's funny how many painters and sculptors were dismissive of the camera as an artistic tool at the turn of the 19th century and yet it quickly became an accepted way to produce art. No doubt many talented photographers have utilized an innate capacity for art creation to make astounding images.
I chose this image because I think it does an amazing job of demonstrating the camera's enormous and almost unrivaled ability to capture emotion of the eyes and face.
The three part series of "American Photography: A Century of Images" was a great series depicting the history of photography and how it has effected our culture. One part that I really enjoyed was how photography changed the thought of racism. The photos were so strong and Full of emotions that made somebody realize why racism is bad without even reading anything about it. Without photography, would racism will exist or would it take longer to make the public realize how it affects people?
One of the most important things I took from this movie was the way photography changed how war was being reported to the general public. When war is so far from home and news reports were nothing like they are now with up to the minute reporting, you could almost report any part of war you wanted and no one would really know they weren't getting the whole truth. With photography being such growing part of reporting people were for the first time getting the full idea of war and what was going on around the world, they were able to stand up and fight for what they wanted which was to bring the soldiers home and end the war.
I missed that last video and that is the one I wanted to see the most =(
I thought it was interesting when they talked about the man who took pictures of the Native Americans and made them dress up so they would look more like the "Indians" most people were expecting to see. That kind of relates to the Post Photography article that we read. In that article it talked about being able to alter pictures and I thought the video was a good example to say that people have also done that.
I also really lived the part in the video when they talk about fashion photography. I thought it was funny when the man was talking about watching his wife read a magazine and stop on a picture that he thought was very poorly done, and when he asked why she would stop on that particular page she said because she liked the dress.
The picture I chose is of what used to be the city hall in Bellingham right after it was built in 1893. Today it is the Whatcom museum. The photographer was unknown.
I've seen American Photography a few times now, and every time I am amazed at how powerful photography is. It has changed the world in so many ways. Photography brought issues like segregation and child labor to the attentention of the country and the world. It showed us the horrible things that humans can do to each other; war, murder, genocide. They also do a lot of good. They help us remember people and events that are important to us. The people that lost their photos in a storm wou Without photos, we wouldn't have things to remember historical events other than stories from people who were there, which only last as long as they live.
Memphis, Tennessee. June 1937. Dorothea Lange, photographer."A fish restaurant for Negroes in the section of the city where cotton hoers are recruited." [Sign: "Bryant's Place Hot Fish for Colored."]
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I thought the PBS special was very well done. It did a great job of talking about how photography has helped change and influence America over the years. I was rather surprised about the use of propaganda over the years and it made me think about a lot of stuff that I had previously heard in history classes. The way the camera is used has a huge impact on people and history; from the staged photos taken in World War One to impromptu photos taken to help create child labor laws.
It's surprising how one snap shot of an event can enrage a nation or pull at it's heart strings. Do to the powerful influence on America I decided to pick a picture of children that worked in a coal mine. I figured it would be a good reminder of what photography can do for people instead of just focusing on what's int the picture itself.
“Breaker boys, Woodward Coal Mines, Kingston, Pa..” Photograph from the Detroit Publishing Company, c1900
First and foremost, this PBS special has done a great job at reminding us just how engrained photography has become in our culture. It has such great power over us; it affects what things we desire, our world views, what we think about and how we think about these things. For this reason, as the video shows, it far surpassed the ability of text to describe and endow the reader (or viewer now) with real emotions. Of course, to no surprise, it has been a primary player in the success of several publications coming out of the Great Depression.
The special has also convinced this author that photography is here to stay, forever and always, in some form or another. The captured image is and always will be how the human mind links memories. A good photograph can tell a thousand words, as they say. Some argue that since television runs at roughly 30 frames a second, it tells potentially millions of words between station breaks. This, however, has not rung to be true. It is the single captured image--a moment in time--that gives one's mind an anchor to that place, to that event, to the people in the photograph.
But of course, a photograph simply provides us a sensory input. It is nothing more than visual information. How can it be that a photograph could cause so much a connection and emotional response where even the most superbly written news article could not? The answer, it seems, lies in the delivery. I'm probably going off on a tangent, but the message may be lost in a translation of sorts, as the premise of language is spoken word being interpreted as a series of experienced real-world objects. We do not see a cow and think the word "cow". When someone says the word "cow" you must then translate it into the image of a cow. If we are presented with the photograph of something that is actually happening, then we have cut out the middleman of language. That said, photgraphy is universal. I can guarantee we won't be able to find a job listing for "photo translator" in the local newspaper.
I chose any random image--I figured pretty much any image I chose would illustrate excatly what I discussed in this post. I was right! Try describing this image to someone instead of just handing them the image....time's up! Good try though. In fact, I think they made a board game based on this exact thing. Fun stuff.
"Cowboys around branding fire, Custer National Forest Montana" photographed by Rothstein, Arthur in 1915
In the American Photography series, the history of photography is presented and analyzed, in which it is noted that, pictures are the essence of life and death. Some time after its creation and the novelty of it faded, many sought to use photography as a form of art. Of course, due to this shift, some questions are sure to arise. Questions such as, is photography an art? and, where is the art? were being asked. Ultimately, photography became a very creative, well thought-out process, that was a handcrafted art form. With the power of photography realized, people from all aspects of life began using it as a tool. Whether it be advertising, propaganda, war photos, and landscapes, photography became a powerful presence in societies and cultures internationally. Through its history it has been used to expose, educate, remember, create, and document. Out of all the photos, styles, and meanings analyzed, the one idea that was emphasized most of all is the power of the still image, and its way of cataloging life's memories. A photo can become something that is never forgotten, however the question that is now surfacing is whether digital is deleting history. Photos will last an eternity in the mind, but keeping a hard copy is still necessary.
Hats off to PBS for creating an extremely powerful and eye opening video series. The way in which they created a timeline, which was commented on by numerous professionals, developed an all encompassing view of photography. The personal accounts of historical moments in photography, how it happened, and why the photograph became so well known, created a gripping narration of historical moments captured through an image.
Question: To me it seems that black and white photos are more powerful, and strongly convey their message. Why is the absence of color more effective and powerful in photographs? Does black and white convey truth?
The American Photography film that we viewed in class was very eye opening for me. I never realized the power of images. Most people believe what their eyes are telling them is the truth; all their other senses may be telling them some type of lie, but their eyes are not capable of being incorrect. We as a civilization have become so visually orientated that we no longer accept information with out a picture along side.
With the advancement of technology, things like newspapers and magazines have been able to bring photographs from all over the world into our living rooms. We were able to experience things that were never possible, see people that are no longer living. Magazines and newspapers brought the tragedies of war and violence out into the public for all to see and consider. Although the photos were censored, people of the general public were able to feel connected with the deceased soldier’s face printed on the front of the magazine; thus the birth of celebrities and public heroes. Even today, I can’t wait until my tabloid magazine arrives each week so I can see what crazy pictures were taken of celebrities. My question is what is next, after the masses begin to understand that photos are retouched and refined and that the eye is no longer the unfaltering truth, what truths are we supposed to trust next?
Stanley J. Forman, 1975
The most important things that I took from the video series was that I never realized how much I take photography for granted. I never thought much about how the photography that we have always taken for granted has shaped our history and the way that we document our history. I really liked how the video talked about how digital photography creates a disposable feel with deleting seemingly useless photos that may be very important in the future. The war photography and the ways that the government censored what was being published during the Iraq war was infuriating. We have a right to know what happens in times of war so that we are not blindly and silently approving of atrosities, simply because we are unaware.
Cameras are even more accessible to our generation than any previous time in history. When I am on a photo shoot, it’s funny to think that I have three separate cameras on myself: an old cannon slr which uses 35mm film, a digital point and shoot for when I miss the shot and waste my film, and in my pocket I often forget that I have a camera on my phone. Unlike when I was growing up, cameras are so affordable today that they are made for kids as well. With everyone holding a camera, it is interesting to think how anonymous people will use cameras in the fast paced world of today.
War is a terrible phenomenon that sees many opinions and is a source of controversy amongst many people. Not to say that I know much about the vietnam war, but unlike the media today, there were some powerful images that caught people and made them want to stop that war. The old saying is a photo is worth a thousand words. I like to think of it as the photo having the power to stir about a thousand feelings. Photography is a medium that can bring a call to action without using a single piece of text.
I really liked the movie American Photography. It was interesting to watch how photography changed over the years. Some discussions that stuck out to me was how people saw different things when viewing a photo. Some people would look at a photo and see a distant relative while others saw it as the fashion of an era. Another topic was how some photos are misleading, whether its a photo of a happy family or the American Indians, these photos do not tell the whole story of what is going on at the time the photo was taken.
The one question I have from watching this movie is if this is the reason photography has had a hard time entering the art community? I mean art is associated with the artist interpretation of an object and photography is associated with the truth. We use photography in the news, to show wars, other cultures, and proof of the thing that we have seen. To combine these forms together people would not know what to trust anymore (just a thought).
So bring in an example of high and low art, to facilitate discussion. It's really up to you what you bring in. We'll look at student examples on Monday and Wednesday. Two of my examples are above, a Marlboro ad and a Marlboro ad that Richard Prince rephotographed. Now before you get all bent out of shape when you look at Prince's image, think about it. What do you think Prince was trying to convey by re-photographing that ad? Some will say brilliant, others may say fraud, but I guarantee he'll get a rise out of most of us. If you'd like some insight about his work and want to see the most expensive photo at auction (which was by Prince) priced at 1.25 million, read this.
I enjoyed American Photography: A Century of Images a lot more than i thought i would. I've seen many films on history that used pictures a way to tell the story, but this film trumped them all. This film used photos as the story rather than support, like the segment on Vietnam. I think it was Vietnam in four photos, all of which told the story of Vietnam without using chapters and chapters in a book.
The general theme of the film to me seemed to be photos are the most powerful medium of history and emotion. Photos could capture a single moment in time a moment in time that told more than any video or story could tell. Like the monk who lit himself on fire in protest, if you just heard a story about the monk you would think it crazy and horrific but probably forget about it shortly. When a photo is taken of such an event and a person sees it, it is forever burned into their minds, or at least I will never forget the image.
The film in has had a real impact on the way I view photography, giving me a real appreciation of American photography.
I found the film to be quite informative, providing me with a more educated viewpoint on the art of photography. The images that were displayed revealed the importance of images and photographs in our history as a society. I will admit that in the past I have been skeptical of the artistic value of photography, but this film illustrated to me just how much emotion and beauty can be displayed in an image captured by a camera. The concept that a photograph can have such a huge impact on the country, or even the world is very powerful and I would tend to agree with the notion that a photo can be the most powerful form of media to illustrate certain subjects. A question that I have is: is the artistic value of a photographed derived primarily from the subject matter/event, or through the vision or eye of the photographer?
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the three part series of American Photography: A Century of Images. The video inspired me to keep on taking pictures and reminded me once again how much I admire those who take chances when it comes to capturing a moment. Two examples of chance takers are Joe Rosenthal who ventured into war zones and Lewis Hine who documented child labor. Pictures are a language everyone speaks and it’s so amazing to look at a photo of someone who may be thousands of miles away or even dead, and feel as if you had been instantly transported into their world.
The picture that I was touched by the most from the movie, unfortunately I can’t find a copy to attach to this blog. It is by Lewis Hine and it’s of a little boy who Hine photographed when he documented child labor. The lines on his face and bags under his big eyes, made me feel his head was placed on the wrong body. The boy with the wild curly hair looks as though he’s been alive for 75 years and is in desperate need of a long and restful sleep. I wanted to step into the portrait, pick him up and hug him really tight.
The photo I have attached here is a different child from Lewis Hine’s collection of children who were involved in intense labor. Her name is Laura Petty.
I chose this picture of a leaf by Ansel Adams because I love the way he can take something so simply and un-manipulated and make it powerful. My favorite landscape artist, he changed the way we thought about the environment and our responsibility to it. His images are grand and probe a sense of awe and wonder, making me feel small in comparison. I'm glad that the film showcased his work and his contribution to the environmental movement. - Tayler Black
The picture I chose was The Burning Monk by Malcolm Browne. The picture was taken June 11,1963 at an intersection in Saigon. The reason I chose this picture was this is a perfect example of how photography can put us in the moment. The event in this picture took place on the other side of the world, but yet it gives us a sense of actually being there. A person setting himself on fire is something that most people will never see or let alone be able to take a picture of.
I think photographs were and still are the most powerful form of art. The movie series we watched really made me realize how important photography is and how non- existent our past would be without it. Photography is not only art, but a very strong tool of persuasion and social change. I can't even remember how many times I have seen old photographs and they have the ability to tell an entire story. Even in today's society with so many technological advances, there is still no replacement for the unaltered, still photograph.
Photographs are our only evidence of some events that happened around the world and that's our only sense of actually being there. In a way photography was used to boost people's emotions in a time of despair such as WWI and WWII. Once the magazine Life started to run the photo essay this brought a whole new way of circulating and educating people about the world. I think this was definitely a turning point for mass media. The most profound and noticeable time that photography made its mark was during WWII, and the civil rights movement. This was also the time when fashion photography was in its prime. I love the pictures of the pin up girl Betty Grable. Her picture brought joy to the soldiers serving in the war. This is a great example of how photography brought joy to many.
This was a time when photography exposed the public to what was going on behind the scenes. Even in 50's when TV was coming into the limelight, photography was still the best. The reason I think was photography gave people what they wanted to see. Photographs are what showed people the real horror of what was happening during the civil rights movements. The photos are what eventually got people to get involved and acknowledge the problems in the South.
This movie was great! I learned so much about the history of photography and it really makes me want to start taking more pictures. I like to capture the moment and live in the moment and that’s what photography does.