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Has Technologies Birth to Film and Photography Played a Vital Role in the Destruction of Art in Its Traditional Sense, or Has Art Naturally Adapted into Other Criteria as a Liberal Movement?

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The definition of art is a creative production that can vary on its materials, this is a highly generalised definition as there are other things to consider which define art, but these materials in particular would be my focus and whether such modern formats as photography and film are one.

Many would consider sculpture and theatre forms or styles of art to a degree. This is most likely for the reason that they inflict some form of aesthetic and expressive sensation, based on the visual, literal and creative aspect which the human mind can experience and result a kind of reaction, whether negative or positive, which can either remain and affect oneself or infer a dislike and imprint a hatred for that work, influencing and inspiring other reactions through the subconscious.

Other, more modern styles to be considered would be film and photography, also graphic design and the birth of the “digital” age. However when it comes to the use of film through the use of a camera, rather than a paintbrush, a script or a cast, my opinion deters slightly and my argument can be found here. The camera is not a tool, like the paintbrush which creates and attempts to imitate the visual source from the artist’s imagination, much the same as a script does in literature, or the hands which mould clay to produce a physical concept of the imaginative object, but instead is a tool that “captures” an object which is not completely imagined. Even though the image may be physically staged or set-up from ones direction as an attempt of recreating what the artist has creatively visualised, the end result, the staged object itself is not what the artist has created, but has staged an ordinary object to bring about his or her creation and captured those objects on film. Those objects were not created by the artist, but captured in an attempt to create an overall image that becomes a concept to the artist’s visualisation. The objects are used to represent the visual which is captured, but are not used as materials which create it.

In more detail, taking painting as an example, the canvass and paint are materials put together and when combined through the artist’s creative direction and skill, the artist can transfer his visual idea from a mental state to a physical which this process can then be viewed and received by an audience. Here there are no objects represented, but materials used. With the use of the camera, instead of a paintbrush, the image set-up involves objects to be represented but they will never be completely accurate for the sole reason that the artist hasn’t naturally transferred вЂ" through his skill, his talent - the object вЂ" and for the fact that it is an object not a material вЂ" the artist has had to position and direct the object rather than creating the object from scratch. For instance, when a photographer is working a model photo shoot вЂ" the model he envisions will never be identical to the model the photographer has to actually work with. Whereas when an artist paints a figure, they have the opportunity to alter how the model will look; how long the nose, hair or eyes will be, the height of the model etc.

For the first time in the process of pictorial reproduction, photography freed the hand of the most important artistic functions which henceforth devolved only upon the eye looking into a lens.

(Benjamin, 1936, pg213)

With the photographer in this case, he or she has to make do with the model, the object they are using, whereas the artist can manipulate that object because it isnt an object, but a material; paint. The other point is that the photographer then has to “capture” this object, which can vary on the mechanical equipment they are using and the settings available to alter. With the artist, he or she is able to build the vision from a blank canvass; “the grid” вЂ" with photography and film there is no blank canvass, there is no grid, but a platform in which to position objects. Here I am referring the term “the grid” from Rosalind Krauss’s essay “The Originality of the Avant-Garde: A Postmodernist Repetition” in which Krauss defines this grid as a complete starting point of no origin where the artist can commence his work:

�For these artists, the grid-scored surface is the image of an absolute beginning.’

(Krauss, 1985, pg19)

The artist’s repetitive grid вЂ" вЂ?Drawing Hands’, Escher

And with photography there is no pure sense of creation. Yes it is a form of creation in terms of forming an image through compiling, arranging and capturing the objects, but it is not the artistic form of creation which involves the direct transition from the artist’s mental ground, to the blank canvass. It is that transition between the physical and the mental ground, guided by the artist’s natural hand and skill which should be considered art in its purist form. That which is guided through means of a mechanical production and involves the use of objects not created from a “grid” is something different, even though it may echo artistic means. The same rule applies to sculpture where again the artist uses their hands to shape and carve an object from the artist’s mental grid.

With active and literature forms of art such as theatre and dance, some similarities to film and photography can be resembled. This is perhaps where art could be considered to shift into a new field where other styles begin to adapt. For one, the method of staging objects is imposed here, the same way as the photo shoot. This resembles in how the actors are staged and directed like the models, not by the photographer but by the director, as he interprets his vision from the script into a physical form вЂ" through not his skilled hand, or camera, but by using the script as a grid which can be formed and then transitioned to a physical and representational ground.

As late as SchÐ"¶nberg and Picasso, the great artists have retained a mistrust of style, and at crucial points have subordinated it to the logic of the matter. What Dadaists and Expressionists called the untruth of style as such triumphs today in the sung jargon of a crooner, in the carefully contrived elegance of a film star, and even in the admirable expertise of a photograph of a peasant’s squalid hut.

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