How much of a role does art play in history?

Is it increasing?

Decreasing?

Changing?

How?

Why?

and possibly the hardest question:

What For?

These are questions we can only begin to answer, but I want to explore it.

In class, we have been talking about many different forms of art, and [Week 4] touched on photography. As we looked through different pictures etc, I couldn’t help but wonder about how much of a catalyst photography was to the world of art. It really stirred the pot. But why??

Before we had the technology to support cameras, art creation was limited to people like Van Gogh, who had both talent with and access to a paint brush. The rest of the world could have had creative talent, just didn’t have the tools to express it.

Then came along the 21st century. Cameras were invented, and people like Annie Leibovitz could make not only a career, but an immortal legacy out of art.

What happened?

Well, now it wasn’t only the Da Vinci’s of the world that were able communicate powerful emotions through a very visual context, but anybody that could press a button on a camera. The world of creativity exploded. People that were once embarrassed about their abilities to draw or paint could use a whole new medium for art. Sure, in a world without a camera, someone like Annie Leibovitz could have taken John Lennon and Yoko Ono into a bedroom and had them take position on the bed, and her vision would be fulfilled. But what if she was no good with a paintbrush? Her vision would be lost in that moment, and ultimately, stuck in her head.

Lets take another step into the future. The invention of the video camera. Christopher Nolan could take all the Batman comics in the world, and explain to you in great detail how he pictured Gotham City, but without a video camera, (and the whole filmmaking process), we would never be able to understand his unique world in which The Dark Knight lived.

To recap, first the world of visual communication was owned by people with a paintbrush. Then cameras were invented and that invited everyone that could physically create their vision in reality could share it with the world in a single frame. Finally, video cameras came around, and whole worlds could be created on a screen. What is the next step? What is the next form of art that people will be able to express themselves with? Following this logic, there are billions of artistic people around the world that are stuck behind a desk of a boring job mashing numbers their whole life because their artistic potential is unreachable with todays technology. I bet Christopher Nolan and Annie Leibovitz would be extremely boring people in the time of Van Gogh. Mind blowing, right?

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One response »

  1. Victoria says:

    I like! Your blawg raises this pondering point for me… the challenge with this wonderful depth in visual communication is finding the balance between conveying creative expression and still leaving enough space for the observer to build on and create further using their own imagination – to inspire and lead on rather than just expound a vision/emotion…the Cinderella photo you chose does exactly that so I am inspired!

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