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« picture windows ~ this is a quiz - no right answers, no wrong answers. there are only answers | Main | kitchen life # 36 ~ mélange / election by tradition + intuition »

signs # 11 ~ turning up the volume 

No Parking Here to Corner ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggenIn response to the intro to / first peek of my information overload concept (see civilized ku # 2453-62 ~ no direction home, pepeye (no linked provided) wrote:

Interesting. But one problem I see from the sample work you posted is that a 3×3 of your work looks more like what we would see in a Flickr or 500px gallery of your work and not like the random overload of images you speak of. The overall style is too consistently your style. Where's the super HDR? The tilt shift? The expired film look, etc. that adds so much to the visual overload of images on the web?

In addition, Clifford Gwinn (no link provided but I did find this - Clifford, please correct me if this is not you) wrote:

Why bother?

my response: re: ...the sample work you posted ... looks more like what we would see in a Flickr or 500px gallery of your work and not like the random overload of images you speak of.

It is not my intention to replicate the myriad looks of the overload of pictures, but rather, to metaphorically represent the volume of pictures. IMO, introducing various picturing styles to the visual equation obfuscates that intention by drawing attention to distinct and differing categories of information as opposed to the sheer volume thereof.

My point is not about distinctions, it is all about sheer volume which tends to overwhelm the senses and engender a fog of indistinction. IMO, the more homogeneous the information, the more difficult it is to distinguish any one item from another. Consequently, I am placing no emphasis upon distinctions and, by presenting all of the pictures in my "style", I am further emphasizing the notion of volume.

However, as you so astutely recognized (although, maybe not the intention for it), the 3×3 presentation is quite deliberately meant to draw direct attention the ubiquitous web gallery presentation as seen on flickr, tumblr, and other picture sites.

my response: re: Why bother?

Hey, I gotta have something to do.

BTW, thanks to John Linn for the "hook".

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

Reader Comments (4)

Fair enough. And I don't doubt that the volume of photographs being posted is contributing to raising the level of noise in the photographic signal-to-noise ratio out there. But what hits me most about the current state of photography on the web comes not so much from the volume itself, but from the impact of seeing such a high volume of photographs that are so mundane in style and/or subject matter (HDR shots where everything, EVERYTHING, is perfectly lit, goofy filter effects, pictures at Arches NP at sunrise or sunset when a monkey could take a beauty shot). That's where the tedium comes from for me. Because I like both the style and the subject matter of your photographs, a volume of them does not have that effect on me. If you posted a hundred at once, maybe it would.

Last week here in Portland, OR, I attended a presentation at one of our local photo galleries (Blue Sky) by Richard Cahan about the book he co-authored on Vivian Maier. The shear volume of photographs she took (and never printed or, in many cases, even had developed) is staggering. But there's nothing tedious in that volume of work.

And I don't think the web itself as the forum is to blame. This Tumblr blog by Mark Peter Drolet is updated almost constantly, yet is never boring or tedious (all hail the fine art of curation).

To me, what's inside the four corners of all those photographs is every bit as important a factor in the state of tedium Colberg is talking about as volume is. Maybe more. Its not just the volume that's the problem.

That said, I look forward to seeing more of your 3x3's. But I'll probably like them, so consider yourself forewarned.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpepeye

You`re right, we all have to have something to do. Peace out.

February 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClifford Gwinn

The reference to the MPD blog proves Mark's point. It's carefully and thematically coherent curation.

February 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

How the curation at MPD prove Mark's point exactly? I point to it as example of volume that does not lead to tedium. I think that is because of the curation and the curation is about the content, not the volume, which is my point.

February 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpepeye

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