*Just A Side Note

My Blogs are not in order any more, because I went through and added pictures, and was not sure how to get them back in chronological order!

"Secret Knowlege"

We watched the movie David Hockney's Secret Knowledge, a film on early painters in the 1400s, and how they were able to be very precise and detailed in paintings. Hockney was lead to belive after research that these early painters used a form of camera obscura to paint accurate representations of different things.
I found it extremely interesting to see how paintings from that time were done, whenever I see certain paintings I had always wondered how they had painted with such precision, and it was explained through that video. It was quite interesting to see how technical using the camera obscura was in some cases, making sure that it was focused correctly, so that you didn't end up painting out of focus, etc.
This video really caught my attention, because I loved learning about the camera obscura, and the early forms of photography and art techniques, as stated in a previous blog. The idea of the artists using camera obscura, almost makes it seem like they didn't do much work, and I'm afraid some people might have taken that from the film. I think that although these artists did use this, it does not take away from there talent, paintings from that era were incredible.

"Photographic Truth"

This week in seminar we talked about the concept of "photographic truth", and how today in society, it's hard to tell whether or not a photograph is depicting a scene of truth, or whether or not it is a misleading photo. Above is an image compiled of many images from the Dove Evolution Ad that was on tv not to long, ago [On the side of the blog there are video links to watch it] This ad really tied into what we talked about, how easy it is for images to be miscontrued in our society, how all celebrities look perfect down to every eyelash. Through this ad you can see that society has changed the way an image is view, it no longer represents truth, like it did many years ago, its scary to think that they can be manipulated the way they do.
Another Example that comes to mind is when Jamie Lee Curtis decided to have her photographs taken for a magazine without having and photo retouching done to the photos. When this most people though it was gross, and unattractive for her to do this. Due to the fact that society has distorted the definiton of beauty, by photoshopping models in magazines to have the "perfect" and unattainable look.

To add on to this post from before, this week in lecture, I heard a new term that really captivated me, "Physiognomy" --the idea that a persons outward appearance can give insight into a person's personality [Hugh Welch Diamond] Back in the day, Diamond constructed this theory, and ended up making a project, taking pictures of patients at an asylum. It's interesting to think that back then this idea was considered feasable, how accurate and percise could they have thought there conclusiosn were. This ties back to the idea of photographic truth, how today looking at a photo you have no idea whether or not you are really looking at a correct representation of someone or something, whether or not it has been tampered with.


1)There was much discussion of the notion of “building as camera” — what do you think he meant by this? How does this idea fit with the “practices of looking” we will be exploring in this class?

Bryan McKay-Lyons talked a lot about the notion “building as camera”, by this he meant practices of looking" - the way the photographer looks through the camera to make sure it will be a good picture, the architect looks through the window to frame the landscape.

2)Many of the projects that Bryan MacKay-Lyons showed us last evening drew inspiration from other sources. For instance, many of the projects on the East Coast drew inspiration from ship-building or other aspects of maritime culture. How does this relate to the idea of “authenticity” (see Sturken & Cartwright glossary, p.350)?
The idea of "authenticity" relates back to Bryan MacKay-Lyons projects, because he aimed to keep the authenticity in the work he did, the project had to fit into the community. For example, many of his projects were found in the maritimes, and so he kept to the minimalistic view of the maritimes, the "spartan esthetic". His design also relate back to this idea of "authenticity" because they are original modern looking representations of the past.

Reproduction of Images

To the left is an image of the Brooklyn Bridge, which I took when I was last in New York; and I photoshoped it to look like a version of the Brooklyn bridge Andy Warhol poster that I have hanging in my room. This image reminded me of what we talked about in seminar this week, we talked about the interpretation of art, and reproduction of images. We learned that any type of image, or media clip can be reproduced, thus leading to a huge change in the role of images in our society.
Before we were able to reproduce images, etc. the piece of art was considered original, and distinctive. We got talking about the idea of “authenticity” and whether or not we thought it was right to reproduce images, and reconstruct then into different versions, like how The Scream,
has been mass produced, and used for many different, even I have a huge blown up version of it in my room. Our discussion lead us to authorship and artistic ownership, and whether or not we were for the reproduction of famous images, or against. Personally I think it is ok to work off of someone’s original piece of art, as long as you pay tribute to the true artist that is behind it.
For example we talked about how the Andy Warhol image of the flowers, was actually taking by a lady for a gardening magazine, and he ended up using it, and didn’t pay any tribute to her. I think that its fine as long as there is a tie to the original artistThis is a photo of two famous paintings morphed together, I thought it was neat, and really went along with our seminar discussion of image reproductions, and how it ties back to artistic ownership. ie. is this painting by Adam Christopher Strange considered an original since he painted it or just a copy of two different paintings.

The Beginnings of Photography

Reflecting back on the lecture on camera obscura and the history of photography, reminded me of a project I did last year for my photograpy class. We had to choose a photographer and attempt some of his work; I choose Man Ray, and this is an example of one of many attempts of a photogram or a"rayograph".

Camera Obscura was a new concept to me during that lecture, it was quite interestng to hear about how photography really came about, and the way it worked. How it went from a tent verson that you could fold up and take with you, to a smaller wodden box that was portable. It seems as though photography would have been very difficult back then, having to set up the lenses and mirrors to correct the projected image, and sharpen the focus.

View from the window at Gras”- Niepce – 1826 – It's fascinating to think that this is the oldest/ first photograph ever to be seen, and how from that point on photography and technology advanced quickly – It's interesting to see how the first photograph was created to now, it was a direct positive and had no negatives, it was called heliography - derived from the Greek word, "sun writing --to now where we have negatives.
I hope to learn more about the early beginnings of photography, and how the methods advanced through the ages. It's hard to imagine having an exposure time of eight hours like Niepce, where today we can instantly access our photos.