Week 12 Course Update: Mo’ Pomo, Subjectivity & Bananas

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things feel like they’re starting to wind down this semester.

In Digital Imaging, we continue to work on our final projects.

In Critical Theory, we watched a little bit of a documentary about Derrida. We also checked out examples from past years of final projects. The project should be a computer-based (Dreamweaver, PowerPoint…) that explores an area of interest in the lens-based arts and hopefully explores some of the ideas we’ve considered during the semester. I then had 5 minutes at the end of class to provide an introduction for Jean-Francois Lyotard’s essay “Answering the Question:  What is Postmodernism.” It’s a dense little essay, but I actually found it a pretty rewarding read that helped me understand a little more about the Modern/Postmodern shift. Other Pomo readings we were responsible for:

Hal Foster’s preface “Postmodernism, A Preface” (missing a few pages) from “The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture

Jürgen Habermas, “Modernity: An Incomplete Project” also in “The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture

“Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society” once again in “The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture

—————–

In Lighting, we used strobes to freeze action a la Edgerton. Stupid school rules forbid us from using live rounds so we couldn’t fire bullets through bananas and instead had to drop a dart on a balloon and freeze it popping.

Harold Edgerton
Harold Edgerton

In Crit this week, I showed some recent work I’ve been shooting around NYC:

James Pomerantz aphotostudent Flatiron NYC
James Pomerantz

Rolling right along to Past Tense, Present Tense…

We started off with a look at more daguerreotypes:

Robert Shlaer
Robert Shlaer
Mark Kessell
Mark Kessell
Adam Fuss
Adam Fuss
Binh Danh
Binh Danh

My general feelings are that given the unique properties of the daguerreotype, it’s hard to appreciate them on a computer screen. We didn’t get to see the physical objects either.

A fellow student in class gave a presentation about subjectivity/objectivity in photography. It was a very thorough survey which revolved around his appreciation of photographer Christopher Williams:

Self Portrait as a Drowned Man. Hippolyte Bayard
Self Portrait as a Drowned Man. Hippolyte Bayard
The Ladder. William Henry Fox Talbot
The Ladder. William Henry Fox Talbot
The Two Ways of Life. Oscar Gustave Rejlander
The Two Ways of Life. Oscar Gustave Rejlander
Approach to the Mountain Pass as Donzere. Edouard Baldus
Approach to the Mountain Pass as Donzere. Edouard Baldus
Thomas Annan
Thomas Annan
Gossip-Katwyk. Alfred Stieglitz
Gossip-Katwyk. Alfred Stieglitz
Nude Descending a Staircase. Eadweard Muybridge
Nude Descending a Staircase. Eadweard Muybridge
From The El. Paul Strand
From The El. Paul Strand
The Stairs. Alexander Rodchenko
The Stairs. Alexander Rodchenko
City of London. Robert Frank.
City of London. Robert Frank.
Ed Ruscha
Ed Ruscha
The Destroyed Room. Jeff Wall
The Destroyed Room. Jeff Wall
Thomas Ruff
Thomas Ruff
Torbjorn Rodland
Torbjorn Rodland

(An interview with Torbjorn HERE)

Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams

I guess things haven’t wound down all that much.

This week at school:

Crit & Theory is cancelled, I’ll be looking at French Porn and also switching some courses for the Spring.

Thursday night will be either at VII Gallery for a panel on “Believable Imagery” or Bonni Benrubi for Massimo Vitali‘s opening.

Friday night, I’ll be hanging out at the SVA MFA Fall Salon. Please come by!

posted by james pomerantz
This entry was posted in 2009 Fall Courses, Contemporary Art, Homework, Readings. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Week 12 Course Update: Mo’ Pomo, Subjectivity & Bananas

  1. Thanks for the nice comments! They warm my heart.

    happy shooting,
    jp

  2. Hey,

    The Edgerton photo took me back to high school, we had to re-photograph a famous photograph and I did Edgerton’s milk drop image. Had to do it with my SLRs on camera flash but in the end it worked out.

    Cheers.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Hi James,
    Greetings from MFA land on the West Coast. I’ve been enjoying your blog ever since Rob Haggart posted it on a photo editor last week. It’s so exciting to see what other MFA students are studying and producing. Keep up the fantastic blog. Ciao, Lindsey

  4. Hello James
    I’d like to thank you so much for creating a blog such as this…I am an undergrad about to finish my degree, and am considering the grad school photo options. Your blog is immensely helpful/informative…and thanks also for the awesome leads/texts/etc. The information here is an amazing resource for people such as myself. Your shots are looking great, really enjoying most everything overall. Again, a big thanks.

    Haley Wulfman
    http://the-second-look.blogspot.com

  5. MarcW says:

    Ha. Ha. Ha. Very funny.

    You’d think a sharp young whippersnapper like you could figure out how to get a 4×5 to autofill its EXIF tags while it was uploading to your computer. I’m pretty clever and I haven’t the vaguest idea how I’d get one to upload directly. I’d have to use a scanner and scanning software at some point. :P

    And in all seriousness, I guess it’s possible, even pretty likely, that there are scanning apps that don’t have that option. :) Although if it went through Photoshop or Lightroom at any point you should be able to set up a more or less automatic tag fill. (Don’t know about Aperture but I’d assume the same.) This is a really, really good habit to get into, because then you can give a little money to people like me and we will get you a LOT of money back when people steal your images.

    M

  6. Hi Marc
    Thanks for the comments. How do I get my 4×5 to autofill my EXIF tags?

    best,
    jp

  7. MarcW says:

    I have been following your blog even though mostly in lurker mode, but I wanted to comment on this post. Those are really some marvelous historical photographs, they never get old. Thank you for posting them.

    I agree with you about daguerreotypes. They lose a lot of power on computer screens. Even a really good print of one has much more impact than a digital image, and of course the actual object has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

    Your image of NYC is visually interesting to me. Normally I would think that composition would be too symmetrical and centered but it doesn’t bother me here. I think the perspective of the Flatiron Building and the asymmetry of the background gives it enough interest to overcome the centering of the main subject. And that was good timing.

    By the way, shame on you for not having your EXIF tags autofilled. ;)

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