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diptych # 27 ~ the camera in action

Street scene / 2 views ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggenIn response to my entry, kitchen life # 42 - wherein I took another swipe at the academic lunatic fringe (MFA division), John Linn wrote:

.... you seem to detest the "MFA crowd" but at the same time you seem miffed not to be embraced by them... or am I getting that wrong?

my response: Yeh, you've got it wrong on 2 counts: 1)I don't detest the MFA crowd but, I am regularly annoyed by those from the segment of that crowd* who seem to enjoy nothing more than hearing the clacking sound of their keyboards as they type densely obtuse tome-like verbosities, the point of which is to blow their horn, o-what-a-smartie-pants-am-I wise, and, 2) I can honestly write - absolutely, positively, unequivocally, beyond the shadow of a doubt, make no mistake about it - that I have no desire to be embraced by that crowd. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Negative to the 10th power.

That written and as most already know, I am neither a fan of the pretty picture crowd and, as I have most recently made abundantly clear, nor am I a fan of the lunatic academic fringe crowd. Amongst many reasons for the irritation (for me) engendered by those two disparate groups is one very annoying (to me) thing that those two groups have in common - their near crazed / slavish obsession with apparatus.

Of course, keeping in mind that there are two different meanings for the word "apparatus", each group is obsessed with a very different type of apparatus.

The pretty picture crowd is much taken to prattle on endlessly regarding the first definition of the word "apparatus" ... a group or combination of instruments, machinery, tools, materials, etc., having a particular function or intended for a specific use, AKA: gear. On the other hand, the academic lunatic fringe crowd is equally obsessed with the second definition of the word ... any system or systematic organization of activities, functions, processes, etc., directed toward a specific goal, AKA: concepts and conventions.

It's hard for me to decide which of these two crowds is more annoying to me in this respect. In either case, after listening to / reading any of either crowd's blathering, my first reaction is to say/write, "Show me the pictures and let's see what they have to say." I mean, hey, isn't that what it's all about?

In most instances, after viewing "the pictures" from either group, I find them to be wanting in either meaning (from the pretty picture crowd) or in visual interest (from the academic lunatic fringe crowd).

That written, and "the pictures" aside, I do find it easier to avoid being annoyed by the pretty picture gearhead crowd by just ignoring online camera fanboy forums. On the other had, when it comes to pursuing an interest in more satisfying pictures, it's hard to avoid encountering ALF/MFA stuff like this ....

... (the) division of objects between two frames is a constant reminder of and reference to the apparatus that produced the image. The cinematic effect created by an object that continues into the adjacent print further emphasizes the fact that we are observing the camera in action ...

Say what? I mean, I get it but how many times do I have to read/hear redundant pointy-headed verbiage to state the incredibly obvious? Seriously, is there anybody out there who does not know that pictures are made by a picture maker using a camera? How often does one need to experience a "constant reminder" which "emphasizes" that he/she is viewing a picture made by a camera ("in action")?

The somewhat frustrating thing for me is that, when (and if) I am able to work my way through all of the artspeak excesses, flapdoodle, and falderoi, it's not unheard of for there to be some interesting bits of information / insight therein. I just wish they'd use plainer language to get to their point.

*To be perfectly clear on the matter, not all MFAs are lunatics

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 02:07PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

The ALF subset within the MFA crowd are definitely not made up of hobbyists and amateurs. They are doing what they do in return for professional compensation. So there is obviously a market for all the redundant pointy-headed verbiage. Two questions immediately come to mind. Who is paying for this? What is the target audience? If I were to make a guess, I'd say it is a scam run by art galleries in order to entice rich collectors. That just about sums up the Fine Art World for me.

March 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnil Rao

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