Thursday, April 9, 2009

final project

Art critic and professor at the School of Visual Arts Timothy Blinkey states that “An image is a visible percept concretely embodied in a physical object. A number is an invisible concept abstractly designated by formal symbols. The aesthetic principles that guide our appreciation of pictures have no relevance to plying digits, and the mathematical rules that govern reasoned formulae have no bearing on understanding art.” It is in the physicality of digital images, the fact that they are made and altered with numbers that makes so dangerously distrusting. Whether “Rumpled Technology” or “Slick Technology” with enough time and know how, one can make an image look however one pleases.

For my final project I am going to research and discuss the vitality of digital creation in regards to the Navidson Record. In Danielewski’s House of Leaves there is a very fuzzy area between reality in photography and photo-manipulation even in the seemingly honest field of photojournalism. However, sources I have read in the my own study of digital imaging, and contemporary cinema have lead me to believe that nothing can be trusted in a field that involves a camera even in the days before Photoshop. Zampano quotes many so-called experts that make the argument that the film is so raw it is almost impossible for it to have been staged. People who study photography and cinema throughout the book seem to think that making something look raw is harder than making it look polished, I disagree. My project will consist of a paper integrated into images created in Photoshop that show how anything and everything is possible, and House of Leaves should be taken as 100% fiction.

I will also touch on Johnny’s struggle with Zampano’s work. The mental strain with the material while simultaneously being on a never-ending ecstasy hangover makes for a very painful reading of something that should be taken as false. The effect of the drug on his psyche plays with the reader's own take on the duality of true/false throughout the book.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

First question - what are you *doing* with the Blinkey quote. Do you agree with him? Differ with him? It's an interesting quote, but I'm unsure of your direction with it.

I like the beginning of the second paragraph - essentially you're claiming that images were never authentic, and maybe even that the authenticity or trustworthiness of image was an illusion. Sounds good - but at the end of the paragraph I'm completely unsure of how that leads into a project. By the end of the paragraph, it seems like your argument is simply that HOL is fiction - which is obvious, and reductive, and clearly not what you intend, but that's what I get here.

What's your argument? I assume you're trying to demonstrate a certain continuity between "raw" and "digital" imaging - but what, exactly?