Monday, May 07, 2007

I'm sitting on the top floor of the library in one of the group study rooms. I'm anything but a group, but obviously i don't care. These rooms are the best thing ever. Mine faces out towards the hills that during the winter are snow capped and during the summer golden brown. I have locked myself in the library all day,(which will be tough considering its about 80degrees with blue sky staring me in the face through the floor to ceiling windows) determined to get some good research done as well as a few french journal entries, and a 3 page paper on the value of photographs and how photos are products of culture. and what is the cultural significance? social Importance? and how do pictures fit into an ideological system of us/them, good/bad, normal/different, etc. Its a fun paper to write because its something i care about and always have. sooo...this is sort of my thesis for my paper...

Photographs are part of a knowledge/Power sharing system, pictures are ideas developed to communicate a given set of ideas or social issues, to make one think beyond what one knows.

Its hard to keep my opinion out of it, i want to write about what I know, and experiences I have been through. yeah, that doesn't really fly so much with the good ole' college prof.

The book for my advanced photojournalism class is called The Burden of Representation Essays on Photographies and Histories by John Tagg. If you are in the mood for a thick read where you have to re-read the paragraph 3 times before you begin to make sense, then this book is great.
The introduction to this book is 32 pages.
here's a little excerpt.
Chapter 3-A means of Surveillance: The photograph as Evidence in Law

"In the decades of the 1880's and the 18890's, as we have seen, photography underwent a double technical revolution, enabling, on the one hand, the mass production of cheaply printed half-tone blocks and, on the other hand, the mass production of simple and convenient photographic equipment, such as the hand-held Kodak camera. At the very moment when certain professional photographers were seeking, in reaction, to exhibit their status as artist in all kinds of refinement of printing technique, this double revolution stripped the image of what Walter Benjamin called its 'aura' by flooding the market with cheap and disposable photo mechanical reproductions and by giving untrained masses the means to picture themselves...."

it goes on, that's only half of the first paragraph. i won't bore you with anymore.
yeah. not so much fun to read.
well i should get back to my paper....

PS: my 21st birthday is in 4 days.


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