Belmont street on the Highland Ave side of the hill. Circa1 1970
Maybe from Winter Hlll, maybe from Charlestown, Somerville was a city of rented flats in triple deckers. Circa1 1970
Waiting for the bus at Highland Ave and Belmont Street, Circa1 1970
I have lived along Alameda Creek since Fall 1993, use it mos’ dally ,and, since Covid while my use has probably increased, other activities away from home have been minimized, though increasingly less on “our way back to normal.”
The words and the photographs in this blog may seem unrelated.— “What do scenes along Alameda Creek have to do with whimsical notions about knowing?” Many people would not even get there, but they would not be here to begin with.
A photograph has a certain “quality” to it, whether film to paper or digital on screen, whenever unconscious senses that quality, it connects with the “common fact” that a photograph is “light controlled by a machine (independent of humans).” In spite of the visual experience , in the photograph there is a clue to the question “What is it.”
A photograph may be used it to define and identify very specific qualities of things that you could not do with a woodcut, etching or silkscreen. Would you use a wood cut or silkscreen as visual proof of identity on a passport?
There are things that we “know unconsciously ” a photograph is, and some of those things are ore than just the “realism” of t he image, its also unique qualities of the photographic process itself, how does the image visually feel.
Do you just look at it and “know” what is going on? Its a photograph1; Its a drawing!; its a woodblock! When you ID the technique unconsciously you consult your internalized standard which uses “feeling” as a “tool” to measure. A woodblock has a certain feeling to it; . . . an etching has a certain feeling to it, . . . and a photograph has a certain feeling to it.
What is “Art” supposed to be? . There are samples of visual images by humans from over 30,000 years ago, I believe that is before writing if you only consider primary evidence, though its likely that pre-history “art” developed both images and visual representations of spoken sounds (written language) along side and interactively with each other.
Writing and Art enabled humans to have the ability to speak from the past but first we had to develop the ability to develop. the skill is not just that we have the ability to develop things, but that we have (evolved) the ability to develop that ability in the first place.
Having “realistic contemporary” paintings of people or events in history is still not the “visual evidence ” that a photograph will carry.
A drawing is an artistic effort uniting both the skills and interpretation of the artist; a photograph, regardless of the artistic effort always contains “a piece of visual reality” —unless its been manipulated.
When a drawing, a silkscreen, a wood cut is not an exact representation it is an artistic interpretation , but when a photograph is not an exact representation then its said to have been manipulated — perhaps photoshopped!!
Make no judgement on this matter . . .
Visual makes life more fun..
Marshall McLuhan seemed to think that a balance of our senses for knowing was important and that since Guttenberg and print had increasingly made visual the dominant sensual experience at the expense of the four other senses, negatively affecting our ability to sensually experiences balanced or total reality.
Line, color and texture.
San Francisco in the afternoon light, from a hill where in the late afternoon parrots used to gather.
Color, texture, gesture, form— maybe the most interesting part is the wall in the background.
Are we knowing the best we ken.
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaga