Thursday, January 20, 2011

thinking how to begin

Sorry, this sounds like a broken record player repeating the same things. The following is the beginning part of my draft....anyway I'm using this blog to draft, formulate, and reformulate things....

Notes on Photographic Seeing and Schizophonia

I am going to discuss the relation between things recorded, such as photographs and recorded sounds, and our seeing and listening. Regarding this relation, some kind of split with reality has been problematized by critiques of image and sound ecologists, such as, for example, Susan Sontag and Raymond Murray Schafer. Sontag uses the term “photographic seeing,” when she criticizes that the original is dismembered and appropriated by dissociative and voyeuristic viewers. Schafer’s term “schizophonic” environment refers to one that we hear electroacoustically reproduced voices from the walls and the ceilings, or, using the headphones, we separate ourselves from the environment we are in, or our sense of hearing from the other senses. To put it simply, their criticisms can read that, using the technologies, we are disconnecting ourselves from reality, nature, and community, and also exploiting such disconnections. While it would be easy to counterargue, saying that the split itself is not the problem, or that there is no such a thing as split, those criticisms of the split appear to have an impact on popular discourses of understanding of the relations between technology and our being, and between reality and perception. My position is that the split, if there ever is one, may not be the problem, but problematizing what we see or hear is nonetheless important in order to think what art can do. My intention is neither to try to foresee the future of art, nor to try to make up some useful theory, but to try to reflect those critiques’ model of interpretation and to rethink what should be problematized now. Many artists have dealt with those devices, and what those critiques see as the split probably keeps inspiring those who practice collage.
Collage has been crucial for many artists since the heyday of Surrealism, hand in hand with the development of the technologies and consumer society, though the very act of assembling things to make artworks is not exclusive of Modernism or Postmodernism: for example, no one may call Beethoven’s use of some Hungarian or Turkish folk music collage. Generally speaking, collage is about using consumer products and has often been part of those artists’ antiestablishmentarian expressions. I am neither positive nor negative about collage, but I want to examine the very premise of it.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds amazing, crossing all of the arts, I would love to read it all. Perhaps eventually we can do a trade.