[Alt-photo] Re: Process or filter?

Henry Rattle henry.rattle at ntlworld.com
Tue Mar 26 19:04:35 UTC 2013

Beautifully put, Francesco!

Best wishes


On 26/03/2013 17:37, "Francesco Fragomeni" <fdfragomeni at gmail.com> wrote:

> Wow. This is why the internet, as an information resource, can be
> frightening and quite damaging. I was actually sad as I read this,
> primarily because it echos so many of the unfortunate bits of
> misinformation that I often encounter when I give talks. Typically this
> kind of thought surfaces more with younger audiences then those that have
> been around a little longer but I've run into this with even the more
> experienced audiences.
> The article is riddled with holes that seems to come from the disconnect
> that I find is most typically caused by experiencing art overwhelmingly
> through a computer screen rather then first hand. I'm actually thinking of
> doing a talk on this very concept here in NYC since I've experienced it so
> much and I believe that it is the primary challenge that needs to be
> overcome in presenting art to younger generations.
> A few points from the article...
> The author states that viewers can only tell the difference between
> something made in a particular process from something made digitally to
> look like that process because they are told of the difference. This is
> unfortunately becoming more commonplace as more and more people experience
> the majority of art via the web and are bombarded with so much content on a
> daily basis that the field is diluted and only the dedicated few who still
> make regular trips to galleries and museums can meaningfully identify the
> obvious and subtle differences that define and separate artistic processes
> (in photography and all other mediums). Viewing art first hand should be a
> primary component of an arts educations from kindergarten through graduate
> programs. That is the only way to prevent someone from sliding down this
> slippery slope. Those of us who work with these processes know that
> differentiating between the real thing and a digital facsimile is about as
> hard as counting to 3.
> He makes some statements about the differences between staging a scene and
> capturing a decisive moment. The two approaches are different tools that
> will be applicable more to some then to others depending on the purpose and
> intent of the work being produced. This should be obvious.
> The author's statement that the filters being discussed have been helpful
> in instructing students to think of process as a 'filter' applied after the
> fact is profoundly unfortunate and is further damaging to an already highly
> diminished awareness of art beyond the digital screen.
> He makes an interesting observation that sometimes it seems that people
> with a dedication to process seem to believe that the more physical effort
> and technical work put in will make for a better photograph. Unfortunately
> I've found this to be true in some instances. Photography is a unique
> medium in that is is equally as much science as it is aesthetics, and as
> such it attracts practitioners who's concerns and focus can run the gamut
> from concerned only with the art to concerned only with the technique and
> process. Finding a balance with your process of choice is the key of course.
> The author's comment that in photography there is no
> strict correspondence between image and object is the most unfortunate
> comment he makes in this article. It is a comment made with a complete
> disconnect from the history of the medium and with an apparent lack of
> understanding of art objects in general. Carol makes an excellent point in
> bringing up the inherent physicality which exists in a wet plate (or any
> other kind of print for that matter). Countless observations have been made
> in the literature defining the physical differences between the various
> process and how those differing inherent physicalities lend themselves to
> the tactile characteristics unique to the different processes. A Platinum
> print is a completely different object then a silver print which is a
> completely different object then wet plate which is a completely different
> object then a daguerreotype. The common denominator between them is that
> they all produce an image. Virtually everything else concerning their
> physical construction and how the image is made is different. To make the
> assertion that there is no strict correspondence between image and object
> in photography is ludicrous.
> The article is an excellent example of the changing dynamics in how people
> view and understand art and photography in particular. Digital is a tool
> like any other. It, like all other processes, is better equipped
> for certain tasks then others, however, at no point should anyone ever be
> directed toward the belief that it adequately replaces the
> physical defining characteristics inherent in other processes.
> - Francesco Fragomeni
> www.francescofragomeni.com
> On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 9:04 AM, carol <carol at artintersection.com> wrote:
>> It's interesting how he never mentions how the actual work is experienced
>> live-not on a screen.
>> How a wet plate ( or any other analog image) has a physicality inherent on
>> the surface
>> or that every image you create using the Hipstamatic Tintype package will
>> have the same affected look.
>> It's kind of like that "distressed" wood floor product-the same
>> mechanically produced marks repeated over and over.
>> Carol
>> Carol Panaro-Smith
>> Program Director
>> Art Intersection
>> www.artintersection.com
>> On 3/26/13 2:42 AM, Kees Brandenburg wrote:
>>> An interesting view on the status of process and object.
>>> http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/**extended/archives/on_process/<http://jmcolberg
>>> .com/weblog/extended/archives/on_process/>
>>> kees
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