Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Phil S, Nov 24, 2017.
It always comes full circle.
What about a connection made by the photographer to the viewer in how they communicated a means of finding a subject or scene ( by where they live or traveled to a unique location) and composed the scene within the frame that is very different from what most other photographers have communicated or failed to communicate?
Some viewers like myself are sensitive to the intent by the photographer whether real or imagined sussed out through the image language of time, place, position of photographer to subject, etc that speak to the viewer. Some photographers are lucky or gifted enough to live or find locations no one else would or could find at a unique or difficult time to shoot a subject. Alternatively the viewer sees it as special and unique but the photographer doesn't because they are used to being around that particular location.
And sometimes the viewer may read too much into the intent of the photographer that has nothing to do with how the image was captured. There's still a connection made that can be more substantive than either may realize.
Although said in a lighthearted tone, what I had in mind was, a feeling of disconnect can (sometimes) make one think about a work or photo deeply enough to question the reason for the disconnect. That can eventually lead to insights that one had not thought of. At the end of such an endeavor, the viewer might find a connection with the work in hand, or he or she can decide that the connection is simply not there and move on. So, yes, I agree with you, a disconnect is not a connection, and its important to accept what it is and not twist the meaning around. However, a feeling of disconnect sometimes makes you question and think deeply about a work (which otherwise has great aesthetic and symbolic elements) and I can't avoid thinking, that feeling of curiosity has elements of connection in it. Being brought up in a different cultural background than the West, I have sometimes felt disconnected with artworks where I didn't share the cultural context. That actually made me delve deeper and gain new insights into social history and human diversity.
Yes. I understand, Supriyo. Certainly I can transition from disconnection to connection, but when I do I’m usually even more profoundly aware of the difference between the two states. The reason I used the eye-roll emoji when I said above that it always comes full circle is because I really don’t think it does. I just don’t find much use in trying to show that everything is really its opposite. Phil twisted ideas into a pretzel when saying that the fashion photographer who establishes a disconnected look in his photo does that only by having a connection to a viewer, thereby thinking he proved his point above that all portraits with direct gazes at the camera show connection, which they don’t. That’s really what I’m rolling my eyes at. I did get that you said what you said lightly.
It seems pretty obvious to me that whichever feeling or emotion a photograph communicates to a viewer presupposes an act of communication between photographer/photograph/subject and viewer. You can't transmit a feeling of disconnection by having the viewer be disconnected to the work. People tend to more naturally connect to photographs of people's faces, especially when they're looking straight at the viewer. So the question to Steve remains: connection to what? It can be connection to any number of emotions, including disconnection.
You can, however, transmit a feeling of disconnection between viewer and subject even when your subject is gazing directly into the camera which, if you look at what you said below, is what we’re talking about. The disconnection is to the subject, I can look at a photo of someone gazing directly at me and feel disconnected to that someone.
And I believe that to be wrong. Because I think in a very straightforward way, two humans can look at each other and feel disconnected from each other.
Like I said, connection in terms of how humans are naturally triggered to respond emotionally when looking at another human directly or when looking at each other. Indeed this includes feelings of emotionial disconnection.
Connection does not INCLUDE disconnection. They’re different from each other. The latter is not a subset of the former.
How about posting image samples to explain your points.
Ok so what should it be called then, the fact that humans are naturally triggered to respond to each other emotionally when looking at each other either directly or from a photograph? Call it something else than connection then. It still doesn't change my point.
A strange response that only makes sense if you take every word I'm saying literally. That's not how language works.
I don’t think it’s terribly strange to speak plainly. I don’t think it’s strange to say one photo makes me feel connected and the other makes me feel disconnected even though, in both photos, the subject is looking right at me. And I don’t think it’s strange to say connection and disconnection are the opposite of each other and that disconnection is not a type of connection but rather a lack of it,
On the other hand I do think it’s strange to dwell in circularities.
I also think strangeness is fine and don’t mind being thought of as strange. Somet8mes, it actually feels like an honor.
Time to move on, though.
How about reading plainly. Start with that.
There shouldn't be a need to constantly point out the obvious. I never said that they aren't opposite of each other. I'm simply saying that in order for both to happen a relationship between the viewer and the subject has to be established first.
I'd rather see some examples of what you were talking about in your previous post about locations.
After reading the comments, here is what I am thinking:
When I see an image, either (a) I feel connected, (b) I feel disconnected, or (c) I am indifferent, I don’t care. The first two, I think warrants some sort of interest to even consider the work. What to call that, I leave it up to debate, but what I understand is, connection can have its gradations, intensities. Not all connections are equal.
I agree that disconnection too while being the opposite of connection is not at all the same as indifference. It's an important nuance to make. Both connection and disconnection suggest a particular mood and color whereas indifference is something colorless. Indifference in itself can be an approach (when giving purpose to the objectivity of the camera's eye) and something to aim at, but the very act of aiming ceases the stance of being indifferent (something Walker Evans was concerned with and conscious of and which was also even further developed or overdeveloped by the whole Dusseldorf School aesthetic).
Don't you think that you are dicussing the two sides of the sane coin - the form and meaning? The face initiates the brain reactions (bottom-up processing (connection) followed by top-bottom processing (connectio or disconnection.))
Pavel, I think the photographer plays as much a role as the face, at least in some and probably in a lot of cases. I think subject and photographer both play important roles. It’s often the photographer’s approach to the subject of the portrait and the photo as a whole that will at least aid in determining whether a connection is established.
And while it’s important to any portrait where the eyes are directed, that’s not often the determinative factor for connection, IMO. Karsch gets a great connection to Casals and he’s got his back to us.
I totally agree with you Fred. Photographer is the fist who feels/creates the virtual connection with the subject of the portrait and than try to convey his (photographer's) feeling to viewer by all available "tools".
I like to press the big button to see where it takes me.
That simple really for me.
Separate names with a comma.