Monday, August 31

Lookout - New Criticism DAMN!

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GRUMBLE! Once upon a time my images were rejected from photographic sites because they were visual art. Now they are getting rejected from visual art sites because... they are filtered! See this image? I've posted the original below. There are photographic based web sites that are for images which have been enhanced by brush and specifically must show the brush strokes. Look at my image here. See the strokes?

Now look at the original. Do you see any strokes? Yeah, I carefully laid the strokes in - with SnapArt2 from AlienSkin. And NO... I did not push a button and get a one-size-fits-all paint-by-numbers, cookie-cutter result. This image was created with over three dozen layers. Look for example at the tree line, the cropping, the quality of light. I have mixed impasto with oils. I have mixed brushes and even in some places employed pointilism. Everywhere I improved upon the dynamic range to create what I felt as I created this image from a picture I took around the corner and down the block from my home here in Lancaster.

This was not a mere swirling about of brushes in CS4 or Painter XI. This is the result of significant forethought, and the application of extensive technique to achieve an end I DARE YOU TO REPLICATE!!!

It is a unique work of art which, among other tools, involved SnapArt2 - a number of times in different locations. And yet it has been rejected as (mere) filtration. If it's so easy to do... go ahead... DO IT! Damn I am pizzzzed.

At first post processing was rejected out of hand by the organic photographers. Now filtration is what? Too easy? THE HELL IT IS! Sigh.....

Grumble... Rant... ERRRRRG! Isn't this just the latest variant of the "I don't know what that is but it isn't photography" close minded schools of mental fertilizer?

Damn I am HOT!


Andreas said...

Haha, oh dear, where did that happen?

Ted, it's always the same. There are always people who judge your art with closed eyes and minds. And really, it's even forgivable. It is hard to know all the plugins and know how the cookie cutter effects look like, what was work and what not. Look at SnapArt: it does a much more than decent job on its default settings.

We are at an interesting point in the history of art: it seems to get pretty difficult to differentiate between what's the result of artistic invention and what's canned effect, at least without knowing tools and process. Superficially this looks like a victory of "straight photography" or what you call the "organic school", but of course it is not. Sure, they don't have the problem, at least not so obviously, but that's only due to their cowardice before the enemy :)

Now: do we need the tools to judge art? Here it seems so, but if you think about it, this is in now way new or only the case for digital art. It has always been that way, only was knowledge of the tools intrinsic.

People have pretty precise ideas of how a camera works. They may often be wrong in detail, but that is still the root of their judgment and their whole media expertise. They base their critique on that knowledge. Same with painting. People know colors and brushes, and at least in school they might have even used them. Same with writing. Imagine a program (not entirely unconceivable) that produces "literature", just like SnapArt produces "art". You'd probably not recognize it without a hint, but would you read on once you know?

Using SnapArt is like using an automatically generated text and making changes, basing a work of literature on it. Can this really produce literary art?

To me the answer is a resounding YES! Of course it can. Art is what got invented by an artistic mind. It's pretty unconceivable to edit a text and not leave traces of your personality. Take enough of that and the artistic nature gets increasingly obvious. But even if it's only selection of a text that the artist found artistic among countless other generated texts that he rejected: it would still be art. In a way this is exactly what "straight photography" does and what "straight photographers" are proud to base their ethos on. Selection from something externally given.

Now that we have the question of it being art out of our way, we still have the problem of visitors seemingly basing judgment on their prejudices about the process.

This can't be helped. I suggest being completely open about the process and otherwise letting the jerks be jerks. Life is too short to care :)

Barry Armer said...

I guess every pursuit has its own version of baseball's blind umpire! :-)

What you do it pretty unique Ted so I can kind of understand it being misunderstood every once in a while. Don't be discouraged! Keep up the good work!


J. L. T. said...

Monet is awakened! Sunny greetings

Ted said...

Thanks Andreas, Barry, and JLT. Until I came upon digital, my work was never controversial. Hmmmm.... I'm beginning to think that there is a deeply felt resistance to the impact upon technique among visual artists. Was this always so?

I wonder... are we best served by controversy over technique or content. Hmmmm.... or is there an identity of reaction here? Perhaps they cannot be separated?

John Roberts said...

Sometimes when an artist is on the cutting edge like you are, Ted, nobody knows what cubby hole to put him in.

"Cherish forever what makes you unique, 'cuz you're really a yawn if it goes."
- Bette Midler

(Did I just quote Bette Midler? Yikes!)

Stephen said...

Don't worry about it Ted.

I can spend a couple of hours on an image (eight in one case) and get no interest and yet someone can take a picture of a match stick in a puddle and get swamped with wow's.

I don't see the wow factor in the match stick like they do and they don't see what I am trying to do.