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amolitor
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« Reply #180 on: February 13, 2013, 06:12:43 AM »
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In the spirit of howlers, let me just pick a few lines more or less at random:

This new rule is in clear conflict with the very essence of photography, which is that ALL photographs are both self-explanatory, self truthful, and self-contained.

Simply asserting that photographs are both [sic] self-explanatory, self truthful, and self-contained doesn't make it true, and this is a point of view with which virtually everyone who's thought about art at all disagrees with. No art is self-explanatory, it exists (at least) in a social context which is required to make it meaningful. "Self truthful" doesn't seem to mean anything at all. I can be self-truthful because I contain systems, like ethical ideas, ideals, and so on, and I can choose to act in ways that conflict with (not self-truthful) or are aligned with (self-truthful) those systems. In order to be self-truthful, a photo must contain something to be truthful to, as well as something which can be truthful or not be truthful to it. This seems like rather a lot to ask of a picture. Perhaps RG simply means that the various ideas and tropes in the image should be aligned and pointing in the same direction? A lack of self-contradiction? If so, this is simply wrong. Sometimes the point of the image is the internal contradiction. Self-contained is true only in the most literal sense, art without, for instance, a viewer is as best pointless and at worst not art at all.

More to the point, the photograph is an explanation of time and space itself.

Does this even mean anything? I kind of thought the general theory of relativity was an explanation of space and time itself, but I'm not really seeing how a photograph could be.

A thing which can't explain itself can not therefore be a photograph.

Again, not really understanding what this could mean. Does he mean "a successful photograph"? Or is he asserting that a photographic print that doesn't explain itself is something other than a photograph? The use of the word "therefore" appears to be simply for weight, since this is just the contrapositive of his silly assertion that photographs are self-explanatory. In short, he's repeating himself, using Logic Words, to make it seem as if he's making an argument instead of just being repetitive.

But that statement doesn't carry with it the idea that every viewer will understand or accept the explanation offered in the photograph.

Now this means something, and is a reasonable thing to say. Is this what this entire mass of words has been driving towards? I honestly cannot tell.

The photograph IS...whilst the viewer APPROACHES.

Certainly a photograph IS. Sometimes, a viewer APPROACHES. But a viewer also IS. More importantly, what does this distinction of verbs have to do with anything?

One wonders if RedwoodGuy is a philosopher. This is precisely the kind of word salad that Nietzsche and those guys are so fond of. In general, Nietzsche's writing doesn't mean anything, and when it does produce a sentence that accidentally means something, that something is wrong. RG seems to be a step up from there, since of the sentences that seem to actually mean something, several of them are right.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 08:38:15 AM by amolitor » Logged

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« Reply #181 on: February 13, 2013, 08:16:12 AM »
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I know some folks who insist that Rock and Roll means Buddy Holly, period. I don't care really, but the world moved on from that, and Rock and Roll evolves with new artists - - thank goodness, as far as I am concerned.

To save space I'll dispense with the rest of the fatuous arguments that followed this. RG's two sentences serve to establish a point of departure:

I suspect everybody on LuLa who's past third grade is familiar with the impressionist genre of painting. But imagine trying to distinguish impressionism from other genres for someone who's not familiar with impressionist painting. What single word, or short phrase could you come up with to explain how impressionism differs from, say  expressionism? Nothing you could say would get the job done unless the listener had studied the genres enough that the two of you could agree on elements that distinguish them.

Of course RG would argue that as the world moves on from Monet and Van Gogh there's no reason we can't let impressionism evolve to include, say, Edward Hopper -- a "new artist." Actually, we can't. It's not that we can't include Hopper in the impressionist basket, it's that if we do, the whole idea that there's a distinct impressionist genre evaporates. From the standpoint of the art does that really matter? Of course not. To say that Ken's beautifully composed picture, "Two," isn't street photography in no way belittles its value as a photograph. It's a very good picture; it's just not a picture that falls into the "street" genre, a genre that was very badly named from the very beginning.

So, let RG go his own way. It sounds as if he's very young. The guy in the "Courthouse" picture he posted under the "Street View Photography" thread may very well be a self-portrait. There's no reason for him not to live in his own world and enjoy it.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #182 on: February 13, 2013, 09:11:07 AM »
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No, I am not. Something much more specific. And just one among many interesting characteristic of (some) photographs, and not something I put on a pedestal. But I don't think it is worth going on with.  If I were to, I would have to start by pointing out the places in which you attribute to me views and attitudes which I don't hold and haven't expressed, and I don't have the patience. Productive discussion requires a certain level of engagement with what the other party actually says, and I don't feel I am getting that from you. Probably I haven't expressed myself clearly enough to give you the raw material you would need.

As to the rest of what you say, I agree with most of it and I certainly don't doubt your credentials.


I hope you didn't mistake my use of the word "you" - for which I generally meant "one." I had no intention of attributing to you views you don't hold. I might have clumped together the group view about ambiguity though. I had no design to offend you. It might be true though your point wasn't clear.
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Rob C
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« Reply #183 on: February 13, 2013, 09:12:58 AM »
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The poor guy's nuts.

That came to me in the shower; not sure if it was self-examination or even related to self, sanity or state of bank account or even of wallnuts: more likely it was a subliminal mind game played around the definitions of ambiguity. At the very least it invoked a welcome change from singing in my wet echo chamber, the pleasure in which conceit evaporated years and years ago when my wife yelled at me to shut the eff up because it was exciting the dog. Or was that one of the twenty-plus cats or, heaven forfend, all of them at once? I forget; I might even have invented this. But the thought, and the subsequent definitions and intepretation of that short sentence amused me for ages.

Part of the problem associated with ambiguity is when it's roped into definition of Rock 'n' Roll, of which Buddy Holly was but a palid, gringo copy. It misses the point of R'n'R completely: white versions were simply watered down versions of black R'n'B, and would have been more aptly labeled as thin white blues. I love Jerry Lee Lewis, but he's not rock 'n' roll at all: mixture of white church, boogie woogie and hugely country, itself a mix of many of the same ingredients.

http://youtu.be/H_lqJk5JzeA

But Rock 'n' Roll pretty much ended with the start of Motown. Soul was something designed absolutely for the interiors of fashion photography studios and model agency parties. Then along came Bubblegum: witness The Archies and Sugar Sugar, at which point, all you had to do was hold your glass and watch those delightful young ladies move... you didn't even have to help them!.

http://youtu.be/JywK_5bT8z0

Thank goodness for ambiguous pedants! Such delightful reminiscences of mammaries past and hips long swayed into memory.

Life is good!

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 09:23:31 AM by Rob C » Logged

RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #184 on: February 13, 2013, 09:17:03 AM »
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I so hope, pray, and wish,
with all my heart,
that facts are not the truth
behind great works of Art.


Even so, I'll try at a succinct definition under the guise of less-is-more:

Street-photography depicts a recognisable situation within human society, and gives that situation a distinctly different graphical or narrative meaning.

-------------------------------
1. "A recognisable  situation within human society" means a more or less common occurrence in a synthetic context. A street is the prime example of such a context. The word "street" also represents the notion of an everyday situation that one could encounter going outside "on the street".

2. "A distinctly different meaning" means it allows for an alternative interpretation as graphic elements or in narrative, which is at least as clear as the normal interpretation (by a moderately intelligent observer).

2a. If the alternative interpretation co-exists with the normal interpretation, or there are several alternative but coherent interpretations possible, then it can be understood as "ambiguous".

2b. If there is no clear alternative interpretation, or it is incoherent, then it fails the specific "street" category and probably fits the "documentary" category. (It may still be a pleasing image).
-------------------------------

Note that I am in no way, shape, or form equipped with an artistic background that allows me to make these type of definitions. I am simply trying to help define what I have read here, and combining that with what little knowledge I have to at least attempt to form a "constructive" definition.

Using too many words to explain which rules do not apply, still doesn't help to create a uniform agreement on what can at least be considered part of the game. So here is a futile request to some of the avid contributors without naming people explicitly: if you have strong ideas about what "street-photography" might be, please help in a definition attempt. Merely dismissing attempts by other people is not going to advance our joint effort here.


Maybe it would be best to start here: Why do you feel you need a definition and set of rules for this kind of art? How often will you change the definition? Should artists with new ideas put them aside if they don't fit the definition?
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amolitor
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« Reply #185 on: February 13, 2013, 09:22:35 AM »
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The poor guy's nuts.

Why would a poor man's nuts be any different from a rich man's?
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Rob C
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« Reply #186 on: February 13, 2013, 09:24:22 AM »
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Why would a poor man's nuts be any different from a rich man's?



A poor man may not be able to afford the more exotic ones.

Rob C
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #187 on: February 13, 2013, 09:35:06 AM »
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In the spirit of howlers, let me just pick a few lines more or less at random:

Simply asserting that photographs are both [sic] self-explanatory, self truthful, and self-contained doesn't make it true, and this is a point of view with which virtually everyone who's thought about art at all disagrees with. No art is self-explanatory, it exists (at least) in a social context which is required to make it meaningful. "Self truthful" doesn't seem to mean anything at all. I can be self-truthful because I contain systems, like ethical ideas, ideals, and so on, and I can choose to act in ways that conflict with (not self-truthful) or are aligned with (self-truthful) those systems. In order to be self-truthful, a photo must contain something to be truthful to, as well as something which can be truthful or not be truthful to it. This seems like rather a lot to ask of a picture. Perhaps RG simply means that the various ideas and tropes in the image should be aligned and pointing in the same direction? A lack of self-contradiction? If so, this is simply wrong. Sometimes the point of the image is the internal contradiction. Self-contained is true only in the most literal sense, art without, for instance, a viewer is as best pointless and at worst not art at all.

 
Your problem here and in most posts, is that you don't pay any attention to the content, because you are too busy trying to invent an insult. This is common in forum posters with no discipline. It makes your rebuttal insipid, silly and weak. In the paragraph above you have rebutted nothing of the argument that photographs are self-explanatory, and self truthful. You substituted yourself for the photograph as a rebuttal?

Your comments reveal your insecurity. All your howling about "ambiguity" was shown to be sheer nonsense, and now all you can do is kick and scream.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #188 on: February 13, 2013, 09:36:42 AM »
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The poor guy's nuts.

That came to me in the shower; not sure if it was self-examination or even related to self, sanity or state of bank account or even of wallnuts: more likely it was a subliminal mind game played around the definitions of ambiguity. At the very least it invoked a welcome change from singing in my wet echo chamber, the pleasure in which conceit evaporated years and years ago when my wife yelled at me to shut the eff up because it was exciting the dog. Or was that one of the twenty-plus cats or, heaven forfend, all of them at once? I forget; I might even have invented this. But the thought, and the subsequent definitions and intepretation of that short sentence amused me for ages.

Part of the problem associated with ambiguity is when it's roped into definition of Rock 'n' Roll, of which Buddy Holly was but a palid, gringo copy. It misses the point of R'n'R completely: white versions were simply watered down versions of black R'n'B, and would have been more aptly labeled as thin white blues. I love Jerry Lee Lewis, but he's not rock 'n' roll at all: mixture of white church, boogie woogie and hugely country, itself a mix of many of the same ingredients.

http://youtu.be/H_lqJk5JzeA

But Rock 'n' Roll pretty much ended with the start of Motown. Soul was something designed absolutely for the interiors of fashion photography studios and model agency parties. Then along came Bubblegum: witness The Archies and Sugar Sugar, at which point, all you had to do was hold your glass and watch those delightful young ladies move... you didn't even have to help them!.

http://youtu.be/JywK_5bT8z0

Thank goodness for ambiguous pedants! Such delightful reminiscences of mammaries past and hips long swayed into memory.

Life is good!

Rob C
Thank goodness pornography isn't ambiguous, huh?
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opgr
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« Reply #189 on: February 13, 2013, 09:40:45 AM »
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Maybe it would be best to start here: Why do you feel you need a definition and set of rules for this kind of art?

So we are able to communicate the category amongst peers. As is true with all words and all communication.

How often will you change the definition?

For me personally only as long as is necessary to form an understanding.
For the general case, as long as is necessary to form the most concise definition of category.

Should artists with new ideas put them aside if they don't fit the definition?

Yes, in the sense that the ideas should be put "aside" in a new category if appropriate.

Note that I am not interested in lengthy discussions about the gray areas of the boundaries. I do believe however that a formal definition is always possible, we just might not be able to explicate the definitions properly, which usually is cause for a lot of confusion and other mishaps as this thread pretty much exemplifies.

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amolitor
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« Reply #190 on: February 13, 2013, 09:46:00 AM »
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RG, I don't know whether you can't read, or choose not to read, but the difference is purely academic anyways. Weren't you ignoring me?
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #191 on: February 13, 2013, 10:02:23 AM »
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To save space I'll dispense with the rest of the fatuous arguments that followed this. RG's two sentences serve to establish a point of departure:

I suspect everybody on LuLa who's past third grade is familiar with the impressionist genre of painting. But imagine trying to distinguish impressionism from other genres for someone who's not familiar with impressionist painting. What single word, or short phrase could you come up with to explain how impressionism differs from, say  expressionism? Nothing you could say would get the job done unless the listener had studied the genres enough that the two of you could agree on elements that distinguish them.

Of course RG would argue that as the world moves on from Monet and Van Gogh there's no reason we can't let impressionism evolve to include, say, Edward Hopper -- a "new artist." Actually, we can't. It's not that we can't include Hopper in the impressionist basket, it's that if we do, the whole idea that there's a distinct impressionist genre evaporates. From the standpoint of the art does that really matter? Of course not. To say that Ken's beautifully composed picture, "Two," isn't street photography in no way belittles its value as a photograph. It's a very good picture; it's just not a picture that falls into the "street" genre, a genre that was very badly named from the very beginning.

So, let RG go his own way. It sounds as if he's very young. The guy in the "Courthouse" picture he posted under the "Street View Photography" thread may very well be a self-portrait. There's no reason for him not to live in his own world and enjoy it.

Aside from the fact that nothing in your post relates to the discussion - - - good job of typing!

You seem incapable of expressing anything about photography that makes any sense. You were solid on ambiguity until that blew up. Then you tried "can't be self explanatory" which even worse negated the whole point of photography. You claimed advanced knowledge of photographic geometry and couldn't muster two words about what it meant. Now, the diversion is painting - something wholly different than photography.  

"Go read books," is not a sign of your knowledge, RSL. It's a sign of your insecurity. It's what every Internet blowhard on every forum resorts to when they can't formulate an respectable argument. I haven't read a single post of yours that yet that contains anything beyond bluster, with a few weak insults sprinkled in. Compare your posts to mine. How many insults are in my argument?  I am happy though to see how weak your arguments are that all you can do is fill the post with supposed insults. You're a poseur. I haven't seen a shred of proof that you know anything about photography or art, beyond the safe harbor of name dropping. Until I exposed the nonsensical pretense being held up about ambiguity in the common photographs in this thread, you had the whole flock thinking these were profound examples of, "real" street photography for no better reason than they could make up little alternate dialogs about what was going on in the photograph! Then you had the nerve to say, "Oh, I never meant ambiguity!" HA! I wonder how long that charade has been going on?

I did not set out to insult anyone here. I set out to have a discussion about photography that goes beyond the constant and nagging and meaningless name-dropping of all the greats. I set out to critique photographs in a way more meaningful than chimping. When that crossed your preset boundary for what you have declared street photography to be, you embarked on a bluster campaign to hold your status as some guru of street photography here. I presented arguments, you presented more bluster and insults, and that is where it sits now. I can tell you this - the insults from you and your gang of "real" street photographers serve to confirm what I suspected from the start - "no knowledge about photography or art - plenty of name dropping."

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #192 on: February 13, 2013, 10:08:52 AM »
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So we are able to communicate the category amongst peers. As is true with all words and all communication.

For me personally only as long as is necessary to form an understanding.
For the general case, as long as is necessary to form the most concise definition of category.

Yes, in the sense that the ideas should be put "aside" in a new category if appropriate.

Note that I am not interested in lengthy discussions about the gray areas of the boundaries. I do believe however that a formal definition is always possible, we just might not be able to explicate the definitions properly, which usually is cause for a lot of confusion and other mishaps as this thread pretty much exemplifies.


If you enjoy "formal definitions" maybe science is more your field than art?

If one persists though on a formal definition (I don't know of any artists that does), I would suggest to make it as BROAD as possible, not as RESTRICTIVE as possible. You just never know when someone is going to push those boundaries with a (gasp!) new idea!

Everyone here is trying their hardest to make "street photography" = "what Cartier-Bresson did." Yes, I get that, and I have acknowledged it. Who else do you know that is a street photographer? Anyone alive today? Anyone under 50? What do you say about what is going on today?

And keep in mind there is a very big difference between artists and art historians.
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amolitor
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« Reply #193 on: February 13, 2013, 10:15:25 AM »
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RG, you should probably accept that your efforts to set yourself up as an intellectual authority based on your ability to write long sentences has failed. We're not going to welcome you as a god. It turns out that LuLa is actually a pretty heavy weight class to be trying these games in.
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stamper
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« Reply #194 on: February 13, 2013, 10:16:48 AM »
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RG I take it you are trying to get the thread closed? A thread that could be very useful to the members if you kept out of it.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #195 on: February 13, 2013, 10:20:03 AM »
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RG I take it you are trying to get the thread closed? A thread that could be very useful to the members if you kept out of it.
Stamper,
In other words, this troop can hurl insults at me, but I am not permitted to reply? Is that about what you are saying?

I wrote some detailed posts last night. They contained no insults to any person here. This morning, I have been set upon by the howlers who didn't have any rebuttal, but decided to pour on some more insipid insults. Perhaps you should have directed your comment to them earlier?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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When everybody thinks the same... nobody thinks.


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« Reply #196 on: February 13, 2013, 10:20:32 AM »
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... Tell me you haven't heard a parent of a 16 year old saying, "That crap is not music!" ...
 

It actually is? Huh

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #197 on: February 13, 2013, 10:24:02 AM »
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RG, you should probably accept that your efforts to set yourself up as an intellectual authority based on your ability to write long sentences has failed. We're not going to welcome you as a god. It turns out that LuLa is actually a pretty heavy weight class to be trying these games in.


The claims of your heavy weight status would be best illustrated by the photographic works, or your ability to express something knowledgeable about photography - not more claims. By the way, do you ever post photographs? I'd enjoy seeing what such a self-proclaimed heavy weight can do.
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opgr
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« Reply #198 on: February 13, 2013, 10:24:57 AM »
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You just never know when someone is going to push those boundaries with a (gasp!) new idea!

The million dollar question obviously being: how does one know when an idea is truly innovative?

(And for those who have been here long enough to remember that discussion: wouldn't this qualify as "begs the question"?)

And keep in mind there is a very big difference between artists and art historians.

Of course. I fully agree that the artist probably couldn't care less about categories. But the more influential artists usually have a profound understanding of their chosen method of expression.

As an example of what I believe to be a very clear example of contemporary street:
http://www.siegfried-hansen.de




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amolitor
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« Reply #199 on: February 13, 2013, 10:27:20 AM »
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The claims of your heavy weight status would be best illustrated by the photographic works, or your ability to express something knowledgeable about photography - not more claims. By the way, do you ever post photographs? I'd enjoy seeing what such a self-proclaimed heavy weight can do.

I never claimed to be a heavy weight. Given that the post to which you are replying had a grand total of 53 words, I stand by my assertion that you either cannot, or will not, read.
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