Before this blog I used to have a graphic design business with a website.com and a WordPress self hosted blog for over 15 years with the same provider. I was planning to close out my business December 31, 2016, but was going to continue the blog and pay the rate out of personal finances, but just before December the ISP got sold, the new owner came in, they told me my site was infected and I needed to pay for their secure software at $18/month to maintain my site, OR maintain it myself, OR they would take it down.
I checked it out and the infected files were files generated from their server software. Furthermore, the same “security software” they were offering was available at other ISPs from free to $18/year—immediate exit.
This free WordPress site will feature regular comments and images, mostly my own. I am not concerned with photographs as records of some reality that using photoshop enables one to misinform, and in terms of this site one reality or another is quite the same. I enjoy that physicists argue about what is reality, they cannot agree— and yet when people see a photograph and then say “Its been Photoshopped” it implies that some truth, some reality, embedded in the original photograph has been distorted. Reality Distorted? first you have to have a reality to be distorted.
Of course there is a some kind of pragmatic reality, we are born, we die, we feel, we have five senses for knowing and our actions have consequences, yet on the other hand, trump lies all the times, and while trump lying is real, it still does not make what he says any kind of truth except to his followers and while their behaviour also has consequences, it still does not make what trump says any kind of truth.
This idea of “different realities” has more to do 1) we know the universe, naturally, through our five senses; 2) we have no natural ability to know what we cannot sense; and thus 3) we cannot know what we do not know.
Some “real truth” of photographic images, whether B&W color, still, video, film or electronic is recognized by legal institutions, images which have (legal) answers to (legal) questions but that truth is at a different meta-level than the truth that interests most of us making “art.”
What photographs are for me is found in questions, not in answers and any answer found in my photographs is not really there, its something inside the person viewing the image. But this image is not just a mirror of things assembled in the image, the colors, the lines, the gestures, may give you a new feeling, thought, some new insight into something. And it may not this time and then it may the next time. Like a poem, I read it, something or nothing, I read it next week something else or nothing.
Visual “Art” touches people at many levels, some are more common usually associated with “Popular Art” and others require the viewer to “bring something” to the experience and this is referred to as “High Art.” You may like both, or you may prefer one and not the other, or more likely you may like artists or specific works from both categories.
Obviously Popular Art is more popular than “High Art” because it communicates with the thing/experiences more common to people in a society. Some people study and learn more expertise in a smaller area, such as a job, or a hobby, or a common social role such as a being a parent. Being a lawyer may have some common experiences shared by all lawyers but being a corporate lawyer specialized in underwriting IPOs would make up a much smaller group with a set of commonly shared experiences.
In short “Popular Art” and“High Art” are two broad categories which can identified as different but not one better than the other without modifying the statement, No one is the “best violin” player in the world but people say it. Yet most of us understand regarding people who play violin there is a group of great players and others and we can pretty much discern this group, The words “fiddle” and “violin” do this naturally, the instrument is basically the same but one is associated with “Popular Art” and the other “High Art.” There is also a qualitative difference in the technical skills and the training to learn them. It is easy for most anyone to feel the fiddle music of a cajun, bluegrass or county band but to grasp the essence of classical violin your mind and ear needs some education .
I suggest to people that they experience the art and find what they like and don’t like, what has meaning and . . . and so on. If you find yourself liking some “High Art” then take some time and learn something about it so you can better appreciate it. And if you are raised in“˙High Art” when you hear a cajun band just get up and dance.
My gravatar is drawn by myself but the design is a copy of the Pueblo Native American design used on jewelry and other art. During my life I have had various personal levels of interaction with Native Americans. I was a graphic designer and have long admired Native American design, and for me especially , their ability to use design to simply represent complex human experiences. From Lakota bead and leather work, the wood work of the Northwest through the pottery, architecture, jewelry and blankets of the Pueblos. I have visited four corners area, and spent time in Chaco Canyon.
Personally I like pottery and in my collection I have pieces from Pueblo potters, , especially from Acoma where I have visited a few times and met potters. My first Acoma pot was $15 at a time when visitors had to walk up.
The first time I saw Man in the Maze I was instantly astounded by it, it simply and unequivocally expresses a basic human feeling about my experience of life.