Dot Dot Four Five

Dear Reader,

I could have just easily titled this “so, what is art.”  This post is a continuation of the thread and response from yesterday (2018-04-04).  Thank you Keith for your comment  and taking the time to do so (so-what-are-you-trying-to-say).

First of all let’s address the easy question first.  What to do about liking a photo in Instagram that has been split into more than 1 panel.  The easiest answer is it doesn’t matter.  The fact that you have visited and possibly found the image rewarding gives me great pleasure.  The second slightly more difficult answer is to like the top left most panel.  To that end I will add that as guidance to my Instagram account.

And now to the minefield.   But before that I have an admission.  For a host of neurotisms that I am slowing working through with a team of highly trained professionals I actually have trouble translating my thoughts into words.  Musically and rhythmically I am a basket case.  But, I do understand visual language.  Which leads my back to photography and art, today (remember yesterday’s comment about contradicting myself) art is about the creative exploration of an idea or set of ideas.  My tool for exploring ideas happens to be photography.

It took me a long time to get what the Cubists were about.  In part they were trying to capture multiple perspectives in a single canvas.  A classic example is Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase”.  Photographers have tried exploring that idea through multiple exposure techniques (oh I feel sleepy).  There is though something that photography is very good at because it is fundamental to the technologies (regardless of simplicity or complexity).  Time is inherent to photography.

Cartier Bresson went with the definitive moment and sought that single fraction of a second  when time, form, and tension were in balance.  Bresson helped make Leica famous.  To this day I still lust for a Leica rangefinder camera, and I blame Bresson for that.  There have been those rare times when that fates have favoured me and I have caught that moment.  Bresson went with the single photo.  Other photographers have explored time and ideas using series.  Rather than collapsing a nude on the staircase into a single image, photography gives us the ability to explore that nude as a sequence or set of perspectives.   When placed together we see that set as an exploration in a similar way to what the cubists were doing with painting.

My Instagram grid experiment began simply enough.  I wanted to show an image larger than the Instagram format permits.  Now I am not only stuck with the grid, but it also provides an opportunity to present the image as something more than the sum of its parts.  The best of those using a grid actually have each panel strong enough to stand on its own (I am not there yet).

So at its simplest two or more images placed together are automatically related.  When done well the relationship is discernible.  Do all my blog posts have this intent?  No.  But whether or not I take the responsibility for the relationship, photos presented together are connected (the medium makes it so).

For your viewing pleasure I have a salute to Bresson (Fall 2015), and two images (March 2018) from my many year exploration of space.  One was captured on a morning ramble south east of Calgary, and the other came from Whitehorse.

Cheers, Sean

One Reply to “Dot Dot Four Five”

  1. Interesting. I find the words easy, as anyone who notes my blog and voluminous comments output will realize. Visual language is new to me.
    First I had to go look at the painting. I may have seen it along the way, but have no real memory of it. (Yes, I know you are appalled.) It would not be terribly difficult to create a photograph that layers a sequence of shots with the idea of creating a similar effect. However, There’s more to the painting than that, even I can see that much.
    Loving all three of the photos, for different reasons. I have no thoughts about the relationship between them.

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