Monday, September 17, 2012

Space Simulator.
#2a. 091712. winndeburlo.

      Space implies time, implies situation, embodiment, predicates a subject as a verb does in a sentence. Photography is often thought to dissociate space and time, to capture a duration, to sever it from continuity (q.v. Barthes, 4). However, on the other end of the double articulation, our presumptions about the absolute reality of photographs (simulations) is the reification of simulation as reality. This is to say that photographs, media, films, &c. either radically artificialize reality (perhaps by viral transmission?), or, more appealingly, expose reality as already modal, simulated, artificial, and involute. Thomas Demand lives in these recursive spaces, instigating feedback loops that result, not in the viewer’s absorption into the hyperreality of his simulations, but rather unearthing the delirium of cognition and making us all astronauts. 
As David Antin has suggested, conceptual artwork is not art by virtue of creating representational images, and continuing a historical discourse, but rather by raising “the question about what sort of space a work of art could possibly occupy” (Antin, 177).
 Similarly, cognitive science has trended away from representational models, which generally conceptualize visual experience as the storing and networking of images, symbols, etc., within the brain. Though Representationalism may still be the dominant school, most of it’s theoretical and empirical underpinning is being contested by the growing field of Embodied Cognition, which contends that cognition “is deeply dependent upon features of the physical body of an agent, that is, when aspects of the agent's body beyond the brain play a significant causal or physically constitutive role in cognitive processing” (Wilson & Foglia, 1).
Perhaps this doesn’t sound immediately transgressive, but if we consider how we normally conceptualize the experience of looking at, say, a photograph, we can see a radical shift. Normally, we think of images as amodal: a contained, idealized “Real,” “This,” or otherwise total correspondence between signified and signifier (Barthes, 4–5)––in other words, a perfect representation. In contrast, the conclusions of embodied cognition habitually dissolve such strong correspondence. Consider the following propositions that Wilson and Foglia claim are implications of embodiment in the realm of “visual consciousness:”
Vision is not a mere brain process devoted to constructing mental models, but rather a skill of   the whole situated, embodied agent, one whose movements are crucial to visual agency (cf.  Gibson 1979)
Visual processing should be recognized as a temporally extended activity, where such activity is guided in part by the agent itself. (Wilson & Foglia, 22)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guy Bourdin

First paragraph : Guy Bourdin

Throughout history the meaning of photography has greatly changed; from barely being considered an art form, with some people arguing the simplicity of it compared to painting, to now being one of the most popular mediums. Contemporary photography is said to of began around the 1950’s and is a more daring type of photography because; it has brighter colors, plays with story lines, is more planned and challenges typical stereotypes of photography being only in the moment. One of the most influential contemporary photographers during the 1960s-1980s was Guy Bourdin. He was not one who portrayed his work in galleries but actually preferred the pages of magazines and advertisements. Bourdin is a French photographer who is most known for his work shot for Vogue, Chanel and Charles Jourdan shoes. Guy Bourdin photographs are a combination of commercial and fine art which play with the ideas of fashion, sex and death. Guy  was one of the first artist to push the limits set on fashion photography. Along with revolutionizing fashion photography Bourdin created narratives and story lines within the images to sell the product. Guy Bourdin pushed the limits so far on photography, by including sex and death, that there was a lot of controversy surrounding his work and his personal life. Bourdin is known of had a difficult childhood because his mother ran out on him when he was very young. His life did not become any easier later on either when his wife and girlfriend are rumored to of suffered mysterious deaths. With so much tragedy occurring in his life it is understandable to see how one may interpret his work to be relevant to his life. Guy Bourdin is one of the leading creators of contemporary photography because of his use of colors and story lines to create beautiful pieces, but I believe that his usage of death and sex motifs are a reflection of his life, and the way he perceives women.