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April 21, 2011 / Jacque

Video

March 22, 2011 / Jacque

A collection

The perk of our family album assignment? A collection of my dad’s mustaches.

 

March 22, 2011 / Jacque

Photo Books I have Liked.

Here are a few of the photo books I have found in my great search. The last one is what I decided on, though it’s looking like it’s not going to be here in time for class tomorrow.

*Click on the titles, to go to the website to view previews or order for yourself!

The first jewel I stumbled upon was Victor Bloomfield, “Looking at Pictures.”

3 p.m. breaks, A Photographic Journal of Tea and Coffee Breaks, by Alynn Teo


27 Good-byes, by Deanna Dikeman


da sein  Porträt und Raum By Thomas Meyer


The Lives of Older People by Philip Joyce

And my choice… Jackpot, Photographs by Kevin Landers.

March 21, 2011 / Jacque

Family Reflections.

Me and Stephen 1988

 

Photographs have always played a role in my family’s life. This is in big part because of my mom, who has been scrapbooking for as long as I can remember. The lives of my brother, my dad, and myself are creatively chronicled in color-coded volumns, beginning with a birth certificate and an old faded snapshot of each of us in diapers.  Each birthday, playdate, first day of school, sporting event, family function, family vacation, and personal milestone, get a page or so revealing the ever constant struggle to keeping things up to date. However, my mother has kept our lives up to date with great success. As each year passes, and the technologies of photography and scrapbooking become more advanced, so do the techniques and methods used on the pages.

Ten years ago, in my mother’s scrapbooking room you would find shoeboxes of family snapshots, papers, glues, tape, and rulers. The type of elementary crafts that one would find anywhere. Here is where she would organize me and my brother’s lives into piles; His birthday, Her recital, His first medal, them together on the swing set. The latter would probably go in two piles, one for his scrapbook of memories, one for mine. These were then sequenced into some sort of chronological order and given a color or theme to match the event. For example, if it was my first day at my new school, the colors of the paper would be the colors of my new school, (Red and Black) and there might be some stickers of a school bus, or a written description below each chubby picture of me holding my lunchbox looking nausous and nervous. As time has gone by, the appearance of her scrapbooking room has changed. There are no longer piles and piles of photographs. There is now a computer in the room, with an adequate picture printer underneath. An extra harddrive indicates that the majority of her photographs are digital files first, and only half are printed for the books. There is more of a selection process now, not all the photographs make it into the books, as I think they first started out as a way of storing not just the memories, but the physical photographs themselves.  The crafts still are stickers, patterns and papers, but now there are tools too. Tools like tiny elf size metal hammers, pins, and contraptions that look like torture devices but that ‘can draw the perfect circle!’

Scrapbooks are a more personal experience. I remember going over to my grandparent’s house at a young age. The entire family all gathered around a slide projector and looked at old family photographs. I remember ooing and ahhing, laughing, and telling stories as each photograph flashed on the wall.  The context was told to one another, and the photograph reaffirmed that verbal story. Scrapbooks are more fragile, meant to be viewed individually, but I think they have more space to fully tell a story, that can be very intimate.

I think my moms main concern with the family photography was about keeping in line our memories. She has always been interested and researched our family’s genealogy and has a rather impressive collection of stories and memories of long deceased ancestors. Family is important and photographs hold the memories to some of the best stories. Of course, there are other factors to her (love you mom) but maybe a little over-the top, scrapbooking obsession, like pride, devotion, maybe just a love to create and play with paper, or that constant need to save, rememeber, and cherish every moment. And what better way to remember then with a photograph…….I can’t say whether the way our family’s photography is stored, is the exact truth. There are a lot of pictures that didn’t make it into the books that got lost, or thrown away. They were probably the unhappier memories, the ones with imperfections, distress, and chaos. This fact, makes me hesistant, but I remember that I can’t trust most photographs anymore anyways. So there is caution when looking at what remains. But I will say this, that sometimes………. It  really is nice to look back, and only remember the happy times.

March 21, 2011 / Jacque

Reflections.2

The Medium is the Message.

When thinking about the discussion over “The Medium is the Message” by Marshall McLuhan, I think about my own interactions with technology, information, awareness, and preference. In the article McLuhan says, “The serious artist is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity just because he is an expert aware of the changes in sense perception” (13.) Perception and awareness. I find these two points really interesting, as it reminds me of a class a couple semesters back with Betsy, she was talking about our own personal awareness over the things we do that may be  ethically or morally, problematic to our thought process. She asked us to question our sense of awareness in these situations, when we take ourselves out of the situation, how aware are we of what is really going on?  I remember at the time, relating this back to my (i’ll admit, poisonous) relationship with celebrity gossip and culture, a world that I am well aware is fake, exploitative, and a form of cheap, insta-entertainment. Yet, I still Perez. I still call my mom every Tuesday to talk about the results of  The Biggest Loser. But I think there’s always a part of me, that is very much removed.  That is looking at the culture, I immerse myself in, in a critical way. I like to think this awareness is what separates me from all the mindless 20-something girls, who watch The Hills, as if it’s real life, and worse, important. I think awareness and this type of critical thinking, are key in looking at technology and thinking about how it can change content.

Going back to our class discussion, I remember we talked a lot about the difference in having something hand-written or e-mailed. I started an exercise with my brother this year, where we are openly asking each other questions and having an in-depth discussion about our ideas on the world. We started out with an e-mail conversation, that’s subject matter quickly got personal. After one e-mail it was evident that, the medium, in my opinion, was holding back the message. I couldn’t have this very personal conversation, that I will look back to for years and years… existing solely on my screen. The e-mail was taking my content and changing how it is valued, for me. So we are writing letters, bound in a book, that we can mail back in forth. With my brother, physically being a part from me and about to deploy for the next year or two, the physicality of the content, was essential. McLuhan’s discussion on technology is before the internet, but I think it’s still relevant. McLuhan’s article is dated before the big internet boom, but it is important to think about how information is changed, just by existing solely in cyberspace. The medium does change the message, and artist shouldn’t be the only ones who are in tune with that.

March 16, 2011 / Jacque

Aura of the Object

benjamin

GoogleArt

 

“In all the arts there is a physical component which can no longer be considered or treated as it used to be, which cannot remain unaffected by our modern knowledge and power. For the last twenty years neither matter not space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial.”- Paul Valery, from “Aesthetics:

“Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.”

 

What I got most out of Walter Benjamin article, :The work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction” was his discussion on the aura of the object. This article was written in the 1930’s before the internet, before modernism, before digital photography. Does the Aura of an object, still exist? and if it does, is it still valued? I stumbled upon an article about google’s new art project, where they offer a super-enhanced digital experience of walking through the galleries of some of the top museums around the world. From the comfort of your own computer screen you can zoom in as close as you want to some of the paintings. The Museum of Modern Art, allowed the famous “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh to participate in this project, allowing viewers to zoom in so close they can see the finest details of van Gogh’s passionate brushstrokes, offering if anything, a much more personal view then they would ever have been allowed to see in person. But is this an adequate substitution? I think this is just another way to experience the reproduction of the object. I am a firm believer that there is no substitution for the real thing.  I will never forget  the first time I saw “Starry Night” in person. I had lived in NYC for an entire summer while the painting was on loan to an art exhibition at Yale. I returned a year later with my mother, and as we wandered the galleries of MoMA, I didn’t even have to ask which room the painting was in. As soon as we stepped in the gallery, I swear.. you could feel it. It could have been the small crowd formed solely at one  corner of the room, most holding tight to their  digital cameras. Or maybe it was the noticeably different atmospherical buzz that provided the soundtrack to this gallery. But it it was quieter, it felt quieter, even with the clicks and beeps of the cameras. People were talking more softly, delicately almost, as if even the very air was fragile. Compared to the hustle and bustle of the tourist flooded museum, this was a change. However, I don’t think either of these atmospherical factors were the leading reasons on to why I felt I could feel Starry Night… Maybe I’m a romantic, maybe I see and feel what I know, I want to see and feel, but I do think, it was being in front of the actual painting that created this this sense of awe for me. The Aura of the Object.

 

So what does this mean for digital reproduction? For photography and the way images function on the internet? To me,  it doesn’t change my opinion to much. Although I think the internet is a great access point, it’s just that. An access point. A platform for you to expand, but hopefully, the work is good enough to transcend existing solely on a screen for someone. I  think art can be ART on the internet, but that has to be, and perhaps always will be part of it’s purpose.

 

February 22, 2011 / Jacque

Workflow Clip

An example of my new much more organized workflow.