Sunday, 31 January 2010

Week 34: Science.

I would deem it only courteous to share with you my personal belief on the action of viewing and the medium of photography, this also runs parallel with the feat of living. I see fit to do this so that all bias is out of the way and set before you. I now see photography as a scientific practice rather than an art, after studying various philosophy essays, books and articles I see life as purely scientific. Photography starts off as a mechanical process and then moves on to a chemical process. Our emotions, feelings and senses are all just merely biological sparks in our body; chemical reactions and electrical signals that determine how we should react to certain sights. Love, hate and all the other emotions we experience are not quite as abstract as we might think. So is there really a pleasure of seeing in my mind? I guess this can be true, but this idea of pleasure being “abstract” is a fallacy that people have come to believe and embrace without thinking. It is purely biological and physically present in our bodies.

I will try my best to demonstrate the pleasurable façade the photograph can create through persuasion and intention. Sometimes you may feel compelled to stare at an image for an elongated period of time, but it is not quite compulsion, it is false admiration. I do not intend to negate photography; in fact, it is the only thing that I am able to label as a passion.

I “look at” and “look for” but never “see at” or “see for.” To look and to see are both verbs, but they are both denoting two separate actions. No matter what, I cannot dismiss that there are different ways to use vision; looking is different to seeing. The mind is constantly interpreting images whether the human is choosing to look or to see, and as far as interpretation goes, we all have certain codes set into our mind about how we are meant to read objects and their surroundings. This can be down to a number of different factors such as culture, race, society or upbringing. These are greatly linked and show the true side of an onlooker’s mindset, and obviously there are other issues that play a part in interpretation however we must categorize to achieve a broad sense of looking. This embedded code is paramount to the reason of looking, whether it is because we are compelled to look or if we are doing it for a certain pleasure.


Suspension of disbelief has proved to be the biggest factor in art being a façade for hundreds of years, and also noticed it in the medium of theatre:

"[...] make imaginary puissance [...] 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings [...] turning th'accomplishment of many years into an hourglass."

(Excerpt from Henry V; Shakespeare: 1598-99)

Song listening to right now: Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd

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