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linkwize 11:49am, 6 March 2009
6March09
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casually, krystina PRO 10 years ago
connections over gaps - inadvertedly illustrated by Christian (Delay Tactics)

thoughtfactory PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by thoughtfactory (member) 10 years ago
I likewise cannot make the connection between this thread and the one that has been closed. What are the "gaps"? ---art as revolution and art as plagarism? What is the "connection"? All the differences between this duality that stands for modernism and postmodernism?

Are we meant to explore this in terms of a visual image?
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linkwize 10 years ago
Sorry, slight hiccup with distraction due to local cyclone alert. I thought the discussion title provided the necessary link. Anyone can copy and paste whatever they want from previous to create thread. Stay safe everyone!
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casually, krystina PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by casually, krystina (admin) 10 years ago
Ashley - Cyclone alert??.....when?...do stay save, will you.

ok - some of the latter sections copied here......people will need to go back to previous thread to see what folks are referencing here.


Dom Ciancibelli says:
Ashley - I'm not going to let you get out of expanding on your statement.....
"Perhaps what some of us aim for in our contemporary abstract photography is the latter - floating meaning?" because I am truly interested in a bit of further explanation.

After all the conversation that has taken place I'm wondering where abstraction fits in the realm of things. Difficult to put a concrete definition to the term but one would think that at this point in time the old modernist notion and practice of "abstraction" would be null and void. Yet here on Flickr it is the most visually used form of expression. Does it even play any kind of significant role in our post post modern state of affairs? Is it still a viable visual language?

Krystina stated "that so many photographers attracted to abstraction feel the need to produce images that mimic paintings - (I've been guilty of that myself). In some ways this is positive, since despite all the declarations that painting is dead, it demonstrates its staying power."

A key word here is "mimic." Siskind produced images that influenced Franz Kline's paintings. Therefore we can conclude that painting to some degree mimics photography. Actually we can trace back to photography's beginning that abstract photographic images preceded abstract expressionist painting with the works of Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy.

My own photographic work (other than the snapshots) is largely that of a non-objective nature. I prefer that term to abstraction. My influences have come from painting and sculpture but I like to think that instead of mimicking either of those forms it works toward the spirit of what those works were able to produce. I don't know how many photographers actually strive to work within that framework but it was a natural course of events for me. I'm also not drawn to the idea that the work I produce has to be drawn to any po-mo ideology. If it might fit anywhere it would probably sit smack in the middle of the modernist aesthetic. But I'll leave that to the viewer. I really didn't think that my work was redundant but in the larger scheme of things it certainly may be. At this point in time I guess my work can easily fall into the realm of the "pretty picture" although many other art? photographer's pictures are prettier than mine. I don't strive for what is commonly considered beauty i.e. Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock or any kind of pictorial ethic. Be it as it may it is what it is I suppose.

I'm beginning to understand that when confronted with the envelope of his photographs marked "artist" (by the publisher), the words were scratched out and remarked "photographer!" Can't remember if that was Evans or Adams.

It's all been extremely informational for me! Thanks for the participation!
Posted 3 days ago. ( permalink | edit | delete )



j neuberger says:
About abstraction: I'm also curious what role it plays in photography and how it can still be fresh. The thing I like most about haphazart abstraction is that most of us don't do "pure abstracts" but find abstract qualities in the structures around us.

Dom: I'm surprised to read that you consider your work non-objective: your most recent series is pictures of shops--the photographs foreground formal qualities over narrative ones--and that's what I love about them, but all your street and concrete photographs are at least semi-representative
and that's what makes the work on this group so interesting. Even our most abstract regulars like Andre/unbearablebrightness and Christian/tossthecam, and at times Mike/finsmal find ways to let us know that their work is taken from the world or of the world.

About post-modernism: in art history, philosophy, literary studies, and elsewhere in critical studies it has been replaced by cognitive science and "neuroaesthetics."
So you thought Derrida was hard to read!!
Start brushing up on your brain science!!

Curiously the work I've read points to the kinds of connectivity that was discussed up above here and by the guy at the Tate in Dom's link.
So it's relevant here on flickr where we are all about connecting as a community over vast spaces and through non-verbal (as well as verbal) means.
In Echo objects and Visual Analogy Stafford is interested in more than how science helps us understand art. She argues that art can help us understand more about how the brain works. To oversimplify: both function by making connections over gaps: electronic pulses leaping over synapses in the brain and, for example, linking disparate or fragmentary images in coherent compositions to produce larger coherent meanings.

Isn't that to some extent what haphazart abstraction is about?
Or is that too abstract ;-) !

Originally posted 3 days ago. ( permalink | edit | delete )
j neuberger (a group admin) edited this topic 3 days ago.



casually, krystina says:
Poodly above points out:
Greenberg's neo-Kantian aesthetics..... was premised on the idea that the judgment of beauty was (tacitly) universal and incompatible with interest and practicality.

This basic and wide spread assumption is one aspect challenged by many artists in the po-mo era, not only by women whose artistic works have largely been written out of history by exactly those who have assumed for themselves 'superior objective judgement' of what should be considered worthy of the label 'fine art', but also by non-Western artists.....hence the idea that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' is a key po-mo concept.

Moreover, artists are working in a world in which corporate interests / advertising are continuously appropriating 'beautiful'..not just from paintings in the past but also current photography....i.e. reproductions of paintings / photos on chocolate boxes, tea cups, T-shirts, calenders, etc.
Is it any wonder that artists in our age do not easily embrace mere 'beauty / formalism' but want to look/ consider issues beyond that?

Poodly asked whether haphazartists question the formalist tenets of modernist abstraction.
Interesting question.....
Originally posted 3 days ago. ( permalink | edit | delete )
casually, krystina (a group admin) edited this topic 3 days ago.



j neuberger says:
I really didn't do justice to Stafford's exceptionally interesting and wide ranging work, but yes --the question is what kind of connections and how does that work when we connect primarily visually.

Haphazart is great because we like to talk to each other, but the primary connection is a similarity in visual style and practice
and because whenever we get too serious Mike or Dom brings over a case of Guinness!
Posted 3 days ago. ( permalink | edit | delete )
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casually, krystina PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by casually, krystina (admin) 10 years ago
Outstanding questions imo.

1. What does Ashley mean by saying some of us aim to achieve a "floating meaning"

2. Where in the scheme of post-modern practice does abstraction works fit?

3. Does our abstraction work do what Stafford argues:
link ' disparate or fragmentary images in coherent compositions to produce larger coherent meanings.'?

4. Does anybody still agree with Greenberg that
'the judgment of beauty is (tacitly) universal and incompatible with interest and practicality'.?

5. Do any haphazartists question te formalist tenets of modernist abstraction?
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j neuberger 10 years ago
thanks Krystina and Ashley for re-booting us!
My own post was a little too condensed: I didn't mean to say that post-modernism has been entirely replaced-only that there is alot of interest among academics about what cognitive science can add to understanding our perceptions of the world and our artistic statements (especially visual ones). Some well-known post-mod art historians are leaping into this. Film scholars have been using cognitive science for about ten years to challenge psychoanalytical approaches that previously had dominated film studies.

In my academic life I find this work very challenging and interesting --and very hard.

Personally I am attracted to the underlying ideas of synergy and connectivity after the fatalism and irony of post-modernism.

The writer I was referring to is Barbara Maria Stafford, if anyone is interested.
Dom Ciancibelli 10 years ago
At altfotonet.org/blog/2009/03/modernismpostmodernism.html#c...
Poodly (Gary) shows an image by j neuberger (Joan) and challenges the idea that it doesn't stand up modernism's idea of a pure abstract.
Below my comments and follow up posted on Saturday......

You stated early on in your post: "I have to admit that I am taken back by the intensity of the hostility to postmodernism shown in the group by those who identify with modernist photographic tradition."

I'm surprised that you are surprised:

PHOTOGRAPHY VIEW; The Pendulum Swings Away From Cynicism
"In the 1980's art has seemed to suffer from a fin-de-siecle anxiety. The source of that anxiety has been a fundamental skepticism about the possibility of ''making it new.'' Instead of seeming limitless, culture and the world itself have come to be seen as finite, closed systems that have been depleted by overuse. All that is left for artists is to reflect on their own imprisonment in a universe of existing words, forms and images.
This point of view has come to be known as post-modernist, and it represents a radical departure from the spirit of boundless originality and individuality that characterizes most of the art of this century. To artists and critics of the 1980's, that optimistic spirit, identified with the rarefied and to some eyes elitist esthetic of modernism, was exhausted by the beginning of the decade. But now, at the end of the decade, it is showing signs of staging a comeback.
The cracks in the post-modern empire of skepticism and dismay are as yet minuscule, but they suggest that the precepts of modernist art are not as discredited and exhausted as many have assumed. Modernism's conception of the artist as a seer, its unabashed quest for spiritual experience and its belief in abstraction as a means of achieving this experience have caught the attention of a generation for whom post-modernism's challenges to originality and authorship seem cynical and - even worse - old hat.
That photography should be at the forefront of this revival is no small paradox."
To continue the article: query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DEED8123AF931A...
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casually, krystina PRO 10 years ago
Dom - that article was published in Oct 1989!!!...twenty years ago.

Later in the article, Andy Grundberg mentions Sherrie Levine as showing a modernist aesthetic in her abstract sculptural works, also lists several photographers such as:
"Cindy Bernard, Adam Fuss, Oliver Wasow, James Welling and, one might argue, the Starn Twins".
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casually, krystina PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by casually, krystina (admin) 10 years ago
So what became of these abstractionist photographers?
Cindy Bernard - does what seems to me 'topographic' images and earns her living as an academic.

Adam Fuss - reinvented photograms in colour using new products
For him, light acts as an important metaphor for spiritual growth and understanding. It is something he regards as 'endless, huge and unspecific'.

Oliver Wasow:..found this:
www.flickr.com/photos/anp/2790006642/

www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.lesley.edu/aib/...

James Welling - gorgeous image - could fit here in haphazart.
Welling teaches photography at California University.
www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.tclf.org/auctio...

well the starn twins seem real originals to me - apparently they attempt to convert photography into 3D objects...

www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://fancypantsy.files.w...

A quote from them
«Light is thought, light has gravity, light is what attracts us. The sun is what we want, who we want to be, who controls us. It is the future and the past. A light too bright to look at, although light itself is invisible. The collection of light is black, and contradictorily, black is the absence of light. Black is both the void and the reservoir of what we need.» ~ D+M Starn.
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Michael Lusk... Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Michael Lusk... (admin) 10 years ago
Two phrases stood out for me in Dom's referenced article and the first has for me the most significance because it distills the basic essence of abstraction for me...
"None of these images is abstract in the sense that the subject is unrecognizable, but each seeks to separate pictorial experience from everyday reality" and
"Abstraction was attractive to photographers between the wars because it represented a plane of experience in which natural, intuitive vision seemed to override cultural convention."
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linkwize Posted 10 years ago. Edited by linkwize (admin) 10 years ago
Ages ago, in a past thread here in hapazartalk, in a fit of nationalism I made a vain attempt to introduce haphazartists to a very prolific Australian photographer whose career spanned the pictorialist and the modernist periods in Australian photography. But my loan voice from the wilds downunder fell on deaf ears as the discussion tended to centre on the better known figures from northern narratives. As I recall the discussion was about what makes a an image abstract. The photographer I referred to was Harold Cazneaux. I just did a search of hz discussions and cannot bring up his name - Why is that? So I may have dreamed it all up. Ah found it - a discussion started by - Guess Who? - no prizes! Dom, at 10:41AM on15 July 2007. So I don't need to repeat what I said back then.

Now to answer the question to me that keeps cropping up, "What does Ashley mean by saying some of us aim to achieve a 'floating meaning'?" I will use one of Cazneaux' images from 1919 - 90 years ago, Shadow Play.

Shadow Play by Harold Cazneaux 1919

In this image Cazneaux seems to me to be wrestling with his pictorial aesthetic. He has noticed the dramatic ruggedness of the shadow play on the ground. He sees the shadows as graphical lines but cannot escape composing using the rule of thirds, contextualising using converging lines and using atmospheric perspective with as much skill as an impressionist painter. This is modernism, and should not be confused with formalism that many people associate with modernism (they forget that modernism in painting really started with the Impressionists).

Anyway, my point is that a haphazartist such as myself would have no trouble at all making the most of those jagged graphic lines. What would I do? I would probably try to establish a viewpoint that flattened the depth and reduced the perspective. I would try to eliminate any contextualising, for example the source of the shadow (the fence).

In this way I detach common meaning and association (denotation and connotation) from the representation allowing the meaning to float and find less common and non-specific associations, open to interpretation.

Apology
Apologies to Cazneaux

But the irony is, even with the benefit of the history of art since Cazneaux I cannot escape my own rhetorical pictorialism (which I think I have just demonstrated to be a kind of visual formalism).

This is an overly simplistic explanation, but I didn't think that the concept of floating meaning would need much explanation.

Forgive me. I am probaly quite wrong in assuming that others do anything of the sort when they make images?

Forgive me too that I haven't expanded on Baudrillard's use of the term, if that is what people are asking? I'll have to have another go some other time.
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linkwize Posted 10 years ago. Edited by linkwize (admin) 10 years ago
Am interested in 'J's' analogy about "making connections over gaps: electronic pulses leaping over synapses in the brain and, for example, linking disparate or fragmentary images in coherent compositions to produce larger coherent meanings." I do feel this sometimes when posting to groups. Someone elses image will remind me of one of my own. There are groups that specialise in trying to harness the rhizomic aspect of such activity in flickr, for example Rhizom-E-xquisite www.flickr.com/groups/rhizom-e-xquisite/

Thanks for those links Krys. Love the giant moth concept. And I'd not come across 'blindspot' magazine before. Speaking of which, how's the h-zine coming along?
thoughtfactory PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by thoughtfactory (member) 10 years ago
Dom
it is difficult for me to respond to you because you dump articles into the discussion without saying what your argument about postmodern photography is. In the above case I have no idea why you hold that hostility to postmodernism is justified. I 'm just left with the impression that high modernism must be defended, even though it is an art tradition that is questioned by innovation in contemporary photographic practices.

My argument here is that it is not an either/or as you maintain- in the sense that there are possibilities for postmodern abstraction. What is your argument against that suggestion? Even the critic you appeal to above ---Andy Grundberg---- argues in his Crisis of the Real: Writings on Photography, 1974-1989 that modernism evolved into postmodernism. He does so by assimilating postmodern photography into art photography --thus:
Postmodern photography is here understood to be that which follows modernist photography in the same fashion that post-impressionism is thought to follow impressionism

True, Grundberg's evolutionary model, which downplays the criticality of postmodernism in favour of the spiritual role of the arts, is different from the rupture model of Douglas Crimp. But Grundberg's hostility to a postmodern culture ( for that is what the hostility is directed at) is modified by his art history.

On the issue of the critical edge of postmodern that is exemplified in its questioning. Take Andy Grundberg's old article from the New York Times that you linked to above. It basically defends American modernism in photography (interpreted as an assemblage of Stieglitz's "American purism" and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's European experimental formalism) as a good against the bad (cynical) postmodernism. Grundberg, whose writings are informed, if not shaped by the modernist assumptions of John Szarkowski, states:
The cracks in the post-modern empire of skepticism and dismay are as yet minuscule, but they suggest that the precepts of modernist art are not as discredited and exhausted as many have assumed. Modernism's conception of the artist as a seer, its unabashed quest for spiritual experience and its belief in abstraction as a means of achieving this experience have caught the attention of a generation for whom post-modernism's challenges to originality and authorship seem cynical and - even worse - old hat.

Why cannot that kind of abstraction -----the artist as a seer, its unabashed quest for spiritual experience and its belief in abstraction as a means of achieving this experience--be questioned?

Questioning those assumption --and there are others (eg., the purity of the image, formalist invention, intention of the creative genius as the core of meaning of a picture or text) --- would give rise to a different kind of abstraction. Why is that difference seen as bad? Do not different kinds of abstraction happen in the visual flows of this group?
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casually, krystina PRO 10 years ago
In another pool, Dom identifies with Ad Reinhardt's balck paintings. I find this interesting, because it shows quite a different 'modernist' approach to Grundberg's above.

"Done in shades of black, with subliminal traces of underlying grids, these were endgame objects, versions of an absolutist art. They embodied no narratives, projected no emotions, broadcast no beliefs; they absorbed light, gave off no heat. The primary reward they offered was the experience of being with them, which, to be an experience (as opposed to a mere walk-by sighting), required patience and concentration."

Instead of an emphasis on the 'spiritual' in abstraction (as espoused also by Kandinsky, Rothko, etc), and on 'expressiveness' as by the abstract expressionists, here is yet another completely opposed approach in that the emphasis is on the 'materiality' of paint, of light, of temperature ...without meaning, without emotion....(which seems to me to be entirely in the vein of artists like Donald Judd which very much spawned a conceptualist approach soon after.....)

All I am saying is that the either/or divides betw modernism and po-mo actually do not correspond to what really happens....reality in the visual arts was much more complex during the modernist era, and continues to be just if not even more complex in the po-mo era.

Dom seems to assume that all art during the modernist era was 'great' and all art now is 'vapid, trivial or just bad'. ...imo 'great art' is just always quite rare.
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j neuberger Posted 10 years ago. Edited by j neuberger (admin) 10 years ago
Ashley (linkwize)-The 'rhizome" as a concept (other than the botanical sense where it originates) is associated with Deleuze and Guattari from "a Thousand plateaus" and has to do with thinking/acting/creating in non-linear ways. there are excerpts all over the internet like interglacial.com/~sburke/pub/prose/Deleuze_and_Guattari_o...
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j neuberger Posted 10 years ago. Edited by j neuberger (admin) 10 years ago
Krystina-I agree that there is a lot of overlap between modernism and post-modernism. And I think the interesting thing is not which label we attach to which photo, but thinking and talking about what precisely what we are trying to do (even if that is "I shoot what I see).
I'm attracted to a lot of elements of post-modernism (its critique of everyday forms of power in particular) but its fatalism, self-consciousness, and self-defeating irony all repell me as do its art forms that are concept rather than visually based, as when the idea behind the artwork matters more than the art-work. And like Dom I'm more attracted to concepts and practices that are unembarrassed by creativity, connectivity, seeking and above all by embracing the visual image itself as something other than concealing or deceptive (which in my understanding was central to post-modern cultural critique).

and just as post-modernism grew out of modernism, the rhizome is a postmodern product that feeds (probably rhizomatically) into whatever comes after postmo.
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j neuberger Posted 10 years ago. Edited by j neuberger (admin) 10 years ago
Gary/Poodly
The point isn't that the precepts of modernism CAN'T be questioned, however they are defined. They can be, were and still are being questioned. But any one practitioner can choose to reject the answers and move in a different direction. It is curious to me that the combination of cognitive and rhizomatic seem to be leading back to some of the structural ideas that motivated some modernist artists, while still containing some of the postmodern skepticism of other aspects of modernism (psychoanalysis for example and dialectics).

Few if any people in this group work in a purely modernist vein and most of us (if you judge by the weekly selection threads) have a very robust appreciation for things like "flow", pastiche of unrelated image-objects", simulacra and so on even if we don't talk about our work in those terms or even think about it in those terms.

I find this to be a very interesting moment as postmodernism seems spent, and new non-hegemonic-forms of universalism are being embraced --Bruno Latour has come up in conversation every day this week--new connections between science and arts are becoming more common. curiouser and curiouser...right?
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j neuberger 10 years ago
since I don't seem to be able to stop tonight--one more comment--I don't know how these ideas of connectivity, rhizomatic and universals, will affect my own photographic process, or it if will at all. But for the first time I am thinking about what i'm doing.

I'm also wondering how the devastated economy will affect the arts, thinking about the arts.
Well, except that I'm still dreaming of buying a better camera--dreaming not buying!
Dom Ciancibelli Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dom Ciancibelli (member) 10 years ago
Krystina wrote:
"Dom seems to assume that all art during the modernist era was 'great' and all art now is 'vapid, trivial or just bad'. ...imo 'great art' is just always quite rare."

1. Actually I don't believe that all art was great form any ism in the past. Just that in my own work I identify more with the modernist approach.
2. IMHO most of what is being taught in the academies is crap and much of the codified stuff that exists under the po-mo umbrella is just trivial meanderings. I'll never call any art "bad." Last week I stopped doing that!
3. I'm also not going to refer to myself and longer as an artist. From now on I'm just going to refer to myself as a photographer. Then my work can be referred to as a redundant photography instead of redundant art.
4. I identify more with Reinhardt's statement that K. quoted above. Mostly the part that states: ".... embodied no narratives, projected no emotions, broadcast no beliefs......" or art for art's sake! I would hope that this frees the work and allows the viewer their own interpretations.
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linkwize 10 years ago
There you are Dom. That wasn't so hard was it? If the desire is "to free the work and allow their own interpretations" then you concur with my version of floating meaning as it relates to abstraction (but not necessarily in the semiotic sense).
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casually, krystina PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by casually, krystina (admin) 10 years ago
jay - well put points.... I agree with you and Dom completely about the dire stuff created by purely concept driven works. ....but to the extent to which that po-mo practices has opened up wider perspectives, questioned assumptions and embraced difference / fusions it has lead to a much more diverse and often challenging art spectrum...strictly conceptual art is really only a small part of the po-mo era that was pre-dominant in the 80's.

We are in a different era now. I like the idea of 'connectivity' ...not sure what it might mean in terms of the work one produces though....I am also a little sceptical about how 'profound' that connectivity will actually be or become..........will it be a bit like flickr...connecting us, yes ...BUT we really have very little idea who actually everybody is, what they look like, what their lives are like, their circumstances, the environment they live in........let alone considering how select a group of individuals we actually are.........how limited the range of countries / continents that are part of this 'connectivity'.

There seems to be far more 'connectivity' in the music scene. Some really exciting work going on with musicians from many different cultures / backgrounds collaborating or influencing each other....I have yet to see that same degree of fertilisation happening in the art world.
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casually, krystina PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by casually, krystina (admin) 10 years ago
poodly - well put...I am in agreement....and actually Dom doesn't embrace the 'spriitual' in the modernist agenda at all....partly because Grundberg wrongly asserts it as a key part of modernism - it wasn't. This goes back to what I argued above - academics who write about art movements often put their own assumptions and prejudices forward and make claims by only looking at works / artists in a selective and interpretive way.

Mondrian, Kandinsky, Frankenthaler, Reinhard, Picasso, Brancusi, Minor White, Nolan, Mies van der Rohe etc may all be modernists but how much did they really have in common - artistically, spiritually, intellectually, socially etc.?
Dom Ciancibelli 10 years ago
Ashley,
Now that I understand you meaning of "floating abstraction" the simple answer is "Yes!"

The viewer has the prerogative to view and analyze any visual works to suit their aesthetic. But I must add here that my preoccupations are with form. How the viewer interprets anything beyond that is up to them.

This is not to say that my own work lacks any concept beyond formalism but I choose to allow ambiguity to run it's course. What I do in photography is driven by intuition as much as concept. At some point the two unite and become inseparable.
Dom Ciancibelli 10 years ago
from: THE POLITICS OF ABSTRACTION
lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/the-politics-of-abs...

"Representation occurs when one thing, say, colors smeared on a canvas, makes us think of something else, say, a mountain valley at sunset. Abstraction occurs when one thing, say, colors smeared on a canvas, makes us think of, well, colors smeared on a canvas.

Abstraction is shapes, lines, colors that represent only themselves—we might call it a special case of representation. Or, we might (as is most common) say it is a case of non-representation. Abstraction does not re-present anything. This does not mean, however, that it has no meaning, but only that its meaning lies in its own substance and structure."
paulmoore 10 years ago
I think abstract representation is the act of re-presenting our inner mental reality..not the reality of the paint, form or stucture of the artwork but the form and substance of our consciousness.
Dom Ciancibelli 10 years ago
Well put Paul!
Dom Ciancibelli Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Dom Ciancibelli (member) 10 years ago
Jay wrote: "I'm also wondering how the devastated economy will affect the arts, thinking about the arts."

The economy has already taken its toll on the arts all over this country at least. Galleries are shutting down daily, the Contemporary Crafts Gallery in Portland, Oregon is undergoing new ownership by the Pacific College of Arts and Crafts and my daughter and son-in-law decided that it wouldn't be worth their time or money to exhibit at the largest show of the year which is the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore.

The Wall Street Journal's article entitled "The Art World's Last Hurrah?" will be a litmus test for the state of the arts worldwide.
online.wsj.com/article/SB123448776040180289.html
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Eugene Goodale 10 years ago
We can always join the Stuckist movement:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuckism

Gene
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j neuberger 10 years ago
Gene, I was all ready to say "sign me up" after reading about them, but then I saw their own work. Still: Sometimes a Great Gesture...
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Eugene Goodale 10 years ago
Kind of points up toward the whole artificiality of terms like modernism, postmodernism, etc.

I mean artists don't wake up one morning and say, "by gosh I'm a postmodernist" or "I think I'll do some modernist work today" . It's all in the realm of critics and intellectuals.

Gene
Dom Ciancibelli 10 years ago
About the return to the figure..... I'm not sure the Stuckists got it right!
These folks go overboard! :-)

www.artrenewal.org/
thoughtfactory PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by thoughtfactory (member) 10 years ago
I have done a post on the altfotonet blog that explores the middle ground --the supplementary?--- between modernism and postmodernism. This ground is called contemporary art.

What is contemporary art? Can we say anything general about it? How can we move beyond the polemical frame of art as revolution and art as plagiarism to looking at contemporary art /photography on its own terms?

Terry Smith (below) has a go. The big reference text is Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity (ed.) Terry Smith, Nancy Condee, and Enwezor.

I work off an article by Smith that spins off from that 2004 symposium at the University of Pittsburgh.
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linkwize Posted 10 years ago. Edited by linkwize (admin) 10 years ago
Krys, re the 1st post above:

"strictly conceptual art is really only a small part of the po-mo era that was pre-dominant in the 80's." Yes! Though this applied from 60's to 80's.

2nd point under above: yes this is a matter grappled with under strong/weak-link network theory.

3rd point under above: I believe this is happening right here under our noses in hz too
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Scribbles With Cameras 10 years ago
i have to confess to not reading all of this discussion and to being quite hostile to the philosophy of postmodernism in general.

However when it comes to art, i am able to agree with what Gene has said above: "...artists don't wake up one morning and say, "by gosh I'm a postmodernist" or "I think I'll do some modernist work today" . It's all in the realm of critics and intellectuals."

i do not have a background in visual arts theory or practice as such. i picked up bits and pieces through my occupation in the printing industry and via a brother who studied graphic design/typography.
i came to photography via wood sculpture (long story), and to abstract photography via Abstract Photos group and haphazart!

my views on art in general are heavily influenced by the writings of Andre Breton. my loves in the visual arts are "the fauve", kandinsky, the dadaists, picasso, man ray and the surrealists.

philosophically and politically i am a marxist and hence unashamedly modernist in the sense that i perceive my thoughts and sensations to be a product of a knowable material reality which exists independently of my sensation of it.

art, whatever the ideas in the artists head, is a particular means of cognition of reality or life or the world, or being a human being. great art (including poetry, literature, theatre, dance, films, television, music, drawing, painting, photography and the rest) is that which expresses and reveals some universal truth or aspect of this reality. This reality is also in constant process of change, ideas lagging behind and then catching up, reacting and progressing, opposing and advancing etc.

now how does this apply to my photography? it doesn't in any conscious way. i have stated before and state again, my photography expresses one consistent theme which can be summarised as, "this is what i saw, and this is how i saw it".

in relation to abstract photography, i was given to recently write in AP discussion:

"every photograph, abstract or no, is an arrangement of recognisable objects. i may not recognise them, but they are recognisable. recognisability of elements in an abstract photograph is not a criteria in my mind, it is the degree to which those the combination/composition, dare i say abstraction, of those visual elements evokes something other than the concretely representational."

now i don't really know where that places me in the modernist - post (anti?) modernist dichotomy, but i feel quite modern :)
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linkwize 10 years ago
scribbleClick, reckon you should align yourself with the "we have never been modern" ...
thats the safest and the most contemporary... :-)
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linkwize 10 years ago
There are some few grains of concurrence but only a few in an article available via Dom's link above:
Abstract Art is Not Abstract and Definitely Not Art, by Fred Ross (edited by Iian Neill)
www.artrenewal.org/articles/2005/abstract/ross1.asp
e.g.
"art fictionalizes reality ... In other words, it is the artist, a human being, who is doing the selecting - not nature and not chance.
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Scribbles With Cameras Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Scribbles With Cameras (admin) 10 years ago
some art can fictionalise reality and life, but some art cognises reality, nature and life, the artist, the human being, being also a part of that nature,reality and life :)

thought for the day: the concrete is a particular combination of abstractions.
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linkwize Posted 10 years ago. Edited by linkwize (admin) 10 years ago
Jay, yes, have read Thousand Plateaus ... I always fancied Guattari's (re)definition of 'subjectivity' from Chaosmosis: an ethico-aesthetic paradigm (1995):

“The ensemble of conditions which render possible the emergence of individual and/or collective instances as self-referential existential Territories, adjacent, or in a delimiting relation, to an alterity that is itself subjective.”

I think this kind of relates to where we are now.

He went on to say:
“The conditions of production sketched out in this redefinition thus together imply: human inter-subjective instances manifested by language; suggestive and identificatory examples from ethnology; institutional interactions of different natures; machinic apparatuses (for example, those involved in computer technology); incorporeal Universes of reference such as those relative to the plastic arts. This non-human pre-personal part of subjectivity is crucial since it is from this that heterogenesis can develop.”
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