Saturday, September 20, 2008

The scavenger project

The scavenger project.

Sophia Stalliviere

Is Photography Dead?

I believe that some elements of photography are dead. Like the Newsweek article mentioned "photography is the easiest art, which perhaps makes it the hardest." I think in some aspects the "easy" photos have been taken and by easy I don't mean they lack artistic qualities. You can no longer become well known for your photos of a family picnic or opening Christmas presents. Those types of photos are found mostly in every household today. A viewer can only look at a picture and pictures that are similar for a certain amount of time. It is in most human natures to want a variety and so with that desire new and more creative pictures need to be taken, to satisfy the viewer. Now a days, with everything being digital, photography has been opened up to a whole new world of possibilities. With technology changing doesn't pictures need to as well?

-Laura LaVergne

Art Hunt

Bryce VanHoosen

Friday, September 19, 2008

Scavenger Art Hunt

By Sarah Richards

Photographic Hunt..of Destiny!

Is Photography dead

I felt this Newsweek article has many truth about this new medium. Even though it has been around for years, there are still parts of this medium that are still being made known. I really like how this article brings to life the fact that we use photography on our mobile phone. "Until the beginning of modernism,the most admired quality in Western art was mimesis- object in painting and sculpture closely resembling thing is real life." I think that real life in photos has a value that can not be explained unless you are there to see it. If you ever look at a photo you have taken in the past weeks, then edit it, some would say that you are killing the real thing you just took a picture of. I believe that you are just trying to show the best of the picture.
by sarah richards

My Scavenger Hunt

Thursday, September 18, 2008

TBA '0-wait

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.

Is Photography Dead?

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


During the TBA festival, I attended the Forced Entertainment: Quizoola. Which was basically two men with their faces painted like clowns, interrogating each other about absolutely nothing in a supposedly humorous way. It may be due to my naivety when it comes to performance art, or perhaps my over-analytical mind, but I couldn't understand what was the point, or even why they were asking each other questions such as: who was the last person you called? What did you talk about? What is Newton's Law? When was the last time you prayed? Are you an actor? Are you acting right now? These questions, among many others, were asked and answered by the men with their faces painted white, with simple, one-sentence answers that some found entertaining. It was unique, to say the least, and enjoyed by others I'm sure, I just simply couldn't interpret this work of performance art.

-Caitlin Hansen

Is Photography Dead?

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.

Scavenger Art Hunt

My Art Hunt...

-Laura LaVergne

Hi and Low 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....

Sanjana Pahalad

Low vs High Art


Last Sunday, I saw the most incredible, most entertaining, and most educational food-for-thought awe-inspiring monologue I have ever experienced. Some may argue this is simply because it was one of just a few monologues I have attended; but this can't be true! Mike Daisey is a BEAST! And I don't mean that in a bad way. I mean that in the way that someone means their coworker is really good at what they do when they call them a machine. But I digress...

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.

Low Art vs High Art

Diane Arbus

"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."

-Diane Arbus


I saw Zidane during TBA: 08 on Sunday night. It was a video showing Zidane during a soccer game. I was kind of excited to see it, and then I saw it and was a little disappointed. It was kind of weird to watch an entire soccer match and not really see what was going on except for what he was doing. It got a little boring for me, and I actually nodded off a few times. He never really did a whole lot, and his face was pretty expressionless for most of the video. It was pretty cool to see players like Bechkham and Ronaldo run across the screen every now and then. It might have been more interesting if they were in it, but then the video wouldn't be called Zidane.

Is Photography Dead ? ( By Stephen Nesbit)

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.

TBA:08 No passport needed

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

Museum of Contemporary Craft

Manufactured introduces a provocative new class of objects emerging from the permeable ages of art, craft and design.  The exhibition highlights works from fifteen international artists who appropriate manufactured products to create sculptural works and installations of all sizes and scales.  Rather than transform a single natural material, the artists on view employ a variety of pristine goods culled directly form manufacturers and store shelves as their raw materials.  Nevertheless, each piece exhibits craft's time-honored, labor-intensive repetitive processes as a strategy for object-making.


I saw Occurrence hosted by Reggie Watts featuring Joe Von Appen and Rush N Disco. Which was a performance piece that included music, monologues and something that I the closest that I can get to describing it would be as interpretive dance. There were some performances included in the piece that were really, truly bad and weren't worth seeing, but others that were really good and made the whole thing worth while. 

-Jessica Stockton 

Khris Soden TBA:08

In looking over the events at the TBA:08 I was immediately drawn to the walking tour of Tilburg.  First of all it sounded like an interesting piece of art to partake in, and secondly I have never traveled to Europe and felt this we would be a great alternative.  It seemingly did fulfill that goal, in that at times when looking at Portland and pictures of Tilburg I felt like I was there.  Khris certainly succeeded in transforming what was in his mind, into a physical reality in ours.  Many people would probably pose the question, why take a make believe tour of a city in another country?  Yes, it was to see the similarities between the two cities, and create a bridge between countries, however there was more to it then that.  This piece of art, just like any other, made the viewer think and interpret.  It was about our reality and other realities, and creating a work of art for all to own.  This experience can't be put on gallery walls, bought for a fee, or put in a book.  It is conceptual and everyone can own the art, this piece will be in my memory forever.   

Low Art vs High Art


TBA 08

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.

TBA: Zidane

For TBA: 08 I went to see Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, a film by Douglas Gordon & Philippe Parreno. This film was the most artistic soccer game I have ever seen as well as the most confusing. Since most of the 90 minute video was focused on Zinedine Zidane, a talented and well known European soccer player, I had no idea where the ball was or the progress of the game. I don't really know what I was expecting but I know I wasn't expecting that.

-Laura LaVergne

TBA: 08

I attended Constructing Community, one in a series of three guided tours around Portland's South Waterfront neighborhood. The tour was focused on what or who defines community. For those who aren't familiar, as I wasn't, the South Waterfront recently underwent a complete overhaul that transformed it from an industrial zone to a new urban housing development. Unfortunately, I think that this event was more focused on bringing in potential buyers and renters to the community than actually educating people about community. - Tayler Black

TBA 08

For the TBA Festival, I went to see Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn's Masters of None. I can't say that I liked it though there are those who may. Perhaps I do not possess a great enough understanding for conceptual or time based art, but to me, it was very bizarre, somewhat disturbing, and not worth my time. Perhaps I am not open minded enough or failed to see a deeper meaning, but to me it came off as a film made by high school students who think that disturbing noises and weird masks are hilarious.

TBA: Corey Lunn

I went to Corey Lunns exhibit that was mainly sculptures. I enjoyed it a lot, the sculptures were interesting, my favorite one being Henchmen. I originally was going for a video by Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn, that was so horrible that I couldn't stand more than a minute of it. It's over now but I still would suggest trying to see Lunns work.

Derek Klayum

Scavenger Art Hunt

Here is my interpretation of the listed items in photographic form.

Chad Miltenberger

Monday, September 15, 2008


I practically spent the entire week at TBA:08; in fact, rather than driving to Portland as frequently as I did I should have just camped out under a bridge! Anyway, of the multitude of performances I witnessed my favorites were definitely both of Mike Daisy's epic two hour monologues (Monopoly! and If You See Something, Say Something) and Tim Crouch's England. For the purposes of this forum, let's discuss Crouch's work.

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?

Bryce VanHoosen


For my TBA event, I attended Paintallica. This was held throughout the festival at the Civic, here artists from all over combined forces and painted and created huge sculptures out of random supplies. I unfortunately attended when no artists were there creating, but it was really nice to have been able to see the finished product. :)

American Photography

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.

-Caitlin Hansen

American Photography

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.
Sam Santorufo 

Is Photography Dead?

It seems to me that Peter Plagens has a hard time with the fact that photography is becoming more and more skewed and exotic. I think he's worried that the true essence of a simple picture is going to vanish since we are in such a world that thirsts upon subjects that are not realistic. Many of us want to be apart of a world that is superficial. A visit to the theater and the use of Photoshop takes us to that superficial world of fantasy. Can you think of a time where you had a picture of yourself and wanted to cover up a flaw of any sort? I remember back in the day when I had love handles I would totally crop that part of the picture!!! In all actuality what's so wrong with being natural? It is beautiful! Plagens also suggests that we take a normal beautiful picture and want it to become even more gorgeous. (Oh crap, I should Photoshop some implants and see how it will look on me!) So this really does make you think that photography could be dead. It just depends on how you want to view it.
Sanjana Pahalad

American Photography

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

A century of Images

Throughout the process of watching these three videos the thing that kept crossing my mind was the enormity of photography that has occured since the inception or invention rather of the camera. We're looking at a device that has been around just over 1oo years and has completely changed the way developed nations interact with the world.
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.

American Photography

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?

Sophia Stalliviere

American Photography

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.

American Photography

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.

American Photography

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

American Photography

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

American Photography

 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

PBS American Photography

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?

American Photography

The picture that I chose, taken by Marion Post Wolcott in 1939, is entitled “Project Family in New Wagon.” I thought that it went with the theme from the videos about the power of images. This photo creates a sense of family and togetherness that happens between a man and his sons; without even seeing their faces we believe that they are a happy family.

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?
-Racheal Johnson-

American Photography

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.

Abstract for TBA:08

I really do believe the TBA Festival is a good showing of different artist and their work. Overall, I really like the whole event. It is something I will never forget. “If this street is the mainstream, then what are the weirdo doing?” said by Ryan Trecartin.

American Photography: A Century of Images

Not only has photography shaped our generation, we’ve grown dependent on images as proof of the events that occurred in our lives. This may explain why so many parents carry pictures of their children in their wallet, or why mom keeps her camera close when the family stuffs themselves in the minivan and takes a vacation.
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.

American Photography

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).

Low Art versus High Art

This upcoming week we'll ruffle some feathers in class discussing high/low art. As you've already read in the Walker article, media arts (video, photo, those that can be reproduced) are the low arts...versus painting and sculpture being high art. Is this b*7llsh&t....

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.


students, please don't forget to include an image with your response, as outlined in my post "American Photography".

American Photography

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.

Derek Klayum

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?

TBA 08: Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait

On Thursday September 11 I went and saw Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait. The movie was 90 minutes long, which is the length of a professional soccer game ironically. I still have mixed feelings about the movie. It was very boring and dry at moments. The camera was zoomed into his face most of the time. Zidane didn't seem like he was into the game. You miss a lot of action if the camera is focused on one particular thing or person. There was a scene during the movie that showed what was taking place in the world the same days as the soccer game. I thought that was interesting aspect to incorporate into the movie. I'm a huge soccer fan but, this movie didn't really do it for me. On a more positive note, I did get a lot of exercise that night and had a wonderful time enjoying downtown Portland.

Chad Miltenberger

American Photography

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.

-Laura LaVergne

American Photography: The Power of Photographs...

I was really impressed by the three part series on American Photography. I've always had a large appreciation for photography in my personal life. It helps me connect with my family's past and capture moments that we share in the present. However, I was particularly fascinated by how this series also exposed the social implications of photography. From FDR using a photographic series of images to convince the American public to support his social programs to the media's use of photographs to sell magazines, photography has had a huge impact on our society. I think that this is because photography captures emotion better than many other forms of media. Photography just gives you an image, but you have to come up with the story. It forces you connect with the image and find the message yourself which I think is what makes photography so special.

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

American Photography

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.

Chad Miltenberger