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Hambone Lewinski 3:17pm, 11 December 2008
I starting feel like talking about photography -- or maybe art in general -- is a colossal dead end. Anybody else on the same page?

Jason
noxious kettle [deleted] 10 years ago
brandonransom 10 years ago
We could always start talking about religion.
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N. Lindstrom Photo 10 years ago
Oh pretty please.........
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
Alex,

Are you referring to the dreadful mess of disagreement that makes Postmodernism almost impossible to discuss? Or are you suggesting that one of the features of Postmodernism is that some things simply can't be discussed in a diverse group -- that is, all conversations take the fast track to the middle?

Jason
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K. Praslowicz 10 years ago
We could always start talking about religion

You mean Leica collectors right?
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
Please, no religion! I'm terrified!

I'm not saying that I don't WANT TO talk about photography, it just seems like discussion of photography and art that I experience lately is dreadfully ugly. It seems like if we try to have intelligent discussions about it, it quickly becomes academic nonsense. And I don't really see the point of having superficial discussions about it.

The context is: one of the photo discussion groups I participate in on 'net is discussing the old "What is art?" problem. This is a group with a pile of MFAs, and it quickly devolved to academic vomit. I'm wondering if we can really talk about art in a way that seems to be about art, you know?

Jason
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
"You mean Leica collectors right?"

YOU'RE WRONG!!!!!!!!!! Contax FTW.

Jason
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HBRstudios 10 years ago
DRG -- Duluth Religious Guild
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
Brian, would that be pronounced "Dirg" or "Doctor G"?

Jason
noxious kettle [deleted] 10 years ago
i guess i just misinterpreted what you were saying, still kind of fuzzy. i don't think art should be drowned in theory, or trying to delve into numerous amount of visual semantics talk. if the piece requires it, then so be it. but a lot of the art i enjoy is kind of low-grade, diy, no technical competence stuff. which i guess could be tied into postmodernism. what can't though? but if you're discussing anything on the internet, usually no one is a winner. well, depending on what forum you frequent i guess.
Anna Merritt 10 years ago
Isn't art interpretive anyway, something that comes from deep within us, light or dark...it means something similar and yet different to each of us? maybe if we had a discussion on what is art for each of us, and not put down that which is art to someone else, that would be a positive discussion...did I even make sense...
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
Anna, it's not necessarily true that art is completely subjective. It has long been argued that art has objective properties.

It's absolutely known that aesthetics have measurable properties; there are images that our brains are programmed to think are nicer than others and we have algorithms to reliably generate primitive images that are more and less appealing.

Modernism holds that art was an expression of an internal self which is unique, postmodernism holds that there is no such internal self, just an amalgam of external influence such as other people, trends and advertisements.

That's why postmodern art often feels like it lacks the luster of modern art -- postmodern artists are "free" to shed any guise of self-expression.

I think that what you get as a result is more "measurable" artwork. In fact, the computer-generated artwork based on aesthetics algorithms might represent the "pinnacle" of postmodernism.

Sorry, this sort of evolved from a response to Anna to a gripe about postmodernism :-).

Jason
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
Ironically, one such computer-generated artwork is faux Jackson Pollock paint spatters, because Pollock was such a poster child for Modernism, and computer generated art is such a postmodern process.

It was found that Pollock had careful control over the fractal dimension of his work, keeping most works within the most aesthetically pleasing range of D=1.6 to D=1.8. Fake Pollocks can be easily detected by using a computer to measure the fractal dimension of the work, which is not easy to control with random pain spatters.

What's more, Pollock's work can be faked by a computer that makes random paint spatters and uses machine learning techniques to control the fractal dimension.

Jason
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K. Praslowicz 10 years ago
I figure I'll just keep doing what I do with no real reason as always, and hope that someday I get to watch as other's try to apply some grandiose academic reason to it.

Since it is on topic, I love Doug Stanhope's bit about people talking about what is art, and people discussing it. (Strong language if you are scared of naughty words)
whitejade85 10 years ago
I working on an art project right now. It's an installation peice entitled 'Celeste sitting at her desk at work'. It's a excersise to point out a search for meaning in a beige, repitious, dead end work enviroment..
it is on display at St. Lukes on a rotating, unpredicatble schedule.
fallfaceforward 10 years ago
lol
noxious kettle [deleted] 10 years ago
i would say art is pretty subjective, but obviously has objective properties just due to human nature and how our brains function, as well as social conditioning. which more or less shape your subjective thinking and liking. people with no formal training in art usually will gawk at an ansel adams print, norman rockwell painting, a sculpture by michelangelo, etc... but are these good? well of course they are technically very sound, but i personally don't think it makes it "good." everyone has taste, with anything. i find music like throbbing gristle, spk, and whitehouse awesome, but the general pubic would probably find it weird/"just noise." so i think its more subjective, but of course our brains can have a certain inkling towards something which is proportionally correct, or the color scheme sits well with us and "works," but is that innate in everyone? how do you gauge something such as a creative activity? i will say there is no right answer, but only educated opinions and preference to go along with theory. somebody can yap to me how pollock was awesome, had great technical qualities aside from the obvious, and was a great artist. but i just find his work boring and plain, and not just because they are "splatters of paint." i think postmodernism just heralds in an entirely new breed of auteur which focuses more so on concept and idea, then giving into any idea of "high brow" art that simply needs to be technically good, pretty or beautiful. many people think richard prince is a thief and don't see the point, but i look more so on the ideas of his and i think its great.
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JustinSinks 10 years ago
Classic
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Hambone Lewinski Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Hambone Lewinski (admin) 10 years ago
"i think postmodernism just heralds in an entirely new breed of auteur which focuses more so on concept and idea, then giving into any idea of "high brow" art that simply needs to be technically good, pretty or beautiful."

I think that postmodernism has a huge cost: it validates the perception that art is simply what is trendy right now. When people drop the pretense of self-expression, it's easy to make art simply a collection of trends.

My default mode is to poke fun at Richard Prince, because if I shot photos of Marlboro ads and tried to show them, I would probably get sued. However, much of his body of work has centered around manipulation of found photography, so the "Cowboys" self-indulgence can be partially forgiven.

Ultimately, it doesn't bother me that much that concept-driven work like Prince's "Cowboys" receives massive popular acceptance. Concept-driven work is often fun and interesting (if occasionally toeing the line of pretentious bulllshit and faux intellectualism).

It DOES bother me, however, that the brave new trend-oriented Postmodern art world essentially rejects explorations of aesthetics as outdated modernism. And probably because most of MY artwork centers around explorations in aesthetics.

Jason
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
Celeste,

Strangely, I'm working on a similar installation. Perhaps we should collaborate, turning it into a piece exemplifying technology in the 21st century by playing a game of Scrabble online.

Jason
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N. Lindstrom Photo 10 years ago
I take pictures.
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
"I take pictures."

Blurg. That's what I was getting at when I started this.

Jason
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N. Lindstrom Photo 10 years ago
Haha, all this art talk is over my head.

Now, back to my McRib.
fallfaceforward 10 years ago
that's good Nate! very good!


jason- you seem to be arguing against yourself.
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
"jason- you seem to be arguing against yourself."

How so? Just that I've trapped myself in the sort of academic conversation that I want to avoid?

Jason
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pH foto 10 years ago
Art, music, religion, love... extraordinary efforts are put into reconciling right brain experiences with left brain explanations. To no satisfying end. In other words, I agree with Jason's original point.
whitejade85 10 years ago
My theory is that if you say it's 'art' it is.

Whether you like said 'art' is an entirely different question.
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Art Shmart Bo Bart Banana Mana Mo Mart, Me My Mo Mart, Aaaaaart.

/thread
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
Wow, Shawn. Thanks for that insight.

Jason
noxious kettle [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by noxious kettle (member) 10 years ago
"It DOES bother me, however, that the brave new trend-oriented Postmodern art world essentially rejects explorations of aesthetics as outdated modernism. And probably because most of MY artwork centers around explorations in aesthetics."

word. i don't think anyone should drown their work in too much theory. its like a godard film and it comes off as pretentious crap (he has his moments, though). i stand by richard prince's ideas and concepts, but of course if you were to do what he did, you probably wouldn't get much notoriety for it. as with any "grassroots" driven collective, it usually takes a large group of people to act as a catalyst, or else people will probably think your out of your mind. then again, a lot of artists are, i think this is a good thing at the cost of their sanity, though. prince is categorized with people like sherri levine as well, and personally i don't find "her" work all that interesting at all, concept or presentation. but someone such as prince, taking something entirely out context and changing the context its placed in is great. someone famously like duchamp questions whats art with a frickin' urinal in an art contest. i think the concept is really great, even if the piece itself lacks. its when you start drowning your shit in absolute muddle, that it becomes more or a joke on you.
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pH foto 10 years ago
A traffic cam has the technical ability to capture an evocative image. Peeling paint on an old house can be magnificent.

Art doesn't need the artist, it really only needs the beholder. I think that is where social pressure to define what is 'good' or 'high' art comes in. Which is nonsense, unless you are trying to put a monetary value on it.
admin
Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 10 years ago
"Wow, Shawn. Thanks for that insight.

Jason "

You should know I was kidding and to be fair you've added your share of randomness to some of my threads.
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Hambone Lewinski 10 years ago
"You should know I was kidding and to be fair you've added your share of randomness to some of my threads."

That's fair. It was just the /thread that bugged me. Like you thought this was a non-topic.

Jason
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Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 10 years ago
I wondered how that would go over, but I figured you would get it as a joke. I apologize for derailing this thread.

At any rate, back on track, maybe, if I actually understand what is happening here.

Maybe, the discussions turn academic so quickly because so many of the people in the conversation have have received their art information through several years of college dribble and they feel they need to regurgitate it as their own feelings because they paid for it?

Or maybe in the world of the interwebs, a quick google search can give them information immediately and they can spew it back on the forums?
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