RE: Transitions in art over the ages...

Je ne regrette rien (LOOMER@ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU)
Tue, 19 Aug 1997 17:22:30 -0400 (EDT)

hi lile,
as an art historian *and* an artist, i have always felt the impor-
tance for the cultural education of everyone, but especially so for
people themselves in fine art. we as artists do not exist in a vacuum,
even if the world has changed in its relationship with and use of cul-
ture in particular in the past one or two hundred years, compared to
the traditions that persisted forever before.
i am about to undertake one final structured study of cultural
history when i take a history of photography course this fall as part
of my MFA. (i already have an M.A. in art history. photography is my
minor for my MFA.) a lot is made of the world change that resulted at
the time of the renaissance thanks to the printing press, the reforma-
tion, nationalism, blah blah blah... and i've heard and also dis-
cussed both online and off a lot about our own technological revolution
and how it's restructuring society, culture, everything. i came to
a conclusion about another revolution we take for granted, although
it produced incredible shock waves when it first appeared: the devel-
opment of photography and the degree to which it took over functions
we are now totally reliant on it for today, and (for one thing) freed
artists to break out in the direction we now call modernism in fine
photography is a virtually universal recording method. it is a
means of entertainment (movies, videos, television), a means of com-
munication (television, fax machines, much web graphics), a means of
verification and information storage and dissemination (xerography),
even an art in itself in many forms (fine art photography, photoetching,
photoshop and other graphics software). i just came home from a family
vacation in canada, and i wasn't just doing art photography with my SLR
35mm camera and my professional b&w film, my family was also proving we
had vacationed using our automatic 35mm camera and our video camera,
recording the accumulation of family lore in vacation mode. we brought
two national parks, many whales, and a multitude of cultural experiences
home with us encapsulated in photography.
when we talk about the revolutions as the engines moving society
and culture, i'm not sure it's possible to tell, in the moment, which
are the engines and which are the pistons within the engines. which-
ever each one is designated in the long view that will eventually sort
things out, i think we as artists need to think of the various media and
foci as our friends. that can only enrich our art.

leanna <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
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