_DSC5224, originally uploaded by jjvornov.
alec soth – blog » Blog Archive » That 70’s Show
Szarkowski included a large selection of this ‘synthetic’ photography in the book. But anyone looking at this work now, 28 years after its publication, will likely agree that much of it appears ‘flimsy’ and dated. All of that solarization just looks silly.
I believe that it’s always been this way. When one looks back on contemporary accounts of art, maybe of most cultural endeavors, most of it looks dated and unimportant. Out of each large movement only a small number of workers, and a small number of their works will be “remembered”. These works will be cited over and over as “important and representative of the time”.
Of course, one reason for this is that much of the derivative work is re-expression or simple repetition of the insights of the few. That’s the way culture works. Some times the “important work” is the best repetition, not the original thought which may have been a less clear example of the culture of the time.
The other important reason is that cultural memory, like human memory, is limited. We summarize our own stories into personal myths and incidents. We summarize cultural history into key events and seminal works.
What’s been fascinating to me is that very often the important works recognized years, decades and centuries later are often unimportant when they are created. While some great artists and thinkers achieve recognition during their lifetimes, many others labor in obscurity. And poverty unless they have a good day job.
Memory is retrospective and explanatory. It tells the story of how we got here and rationalizes what we’re doing now. That means that the events and works in the past that seemed important before may turn out to be, at least for now irrelevant. They may be forgotten forever. Other events or works, that seemed trivial or mysterious at the time, become very important in retrospect when used to explain the now. It’s odd that history should change as we change if you assume a linear progression of events and ideas. When you see the world as a complex network stretching into the past, the unpredictability of the past is no different than the uncertainty of the future.
p class=”flickr-frame”> _DSC4847, originally uploaded by jjvornov.
I decided to start clean this time, so rather than use the migration assistant to move documents, apps and preferences over, I’m loading each app in anew and setting preferences by hand. Tomorrow I should have Photoshop brought over, so I can see how usable round-tripping is with the 2GB. The new Santa Rosa chip set allows 4GB in the laptop, up from 3GB in previous versions, so I have the option to double the memory, which should help run the two apps simultaneously.
_DSC4854, originally uploaded by jjvornov.
The Bing Blog Tag — You’re It! :
I’m pretty new at this blogging thing and it’s clear to me, even as a newbie, that some blogs get noticed and some just sort of lie there on their backs, peeing like babies on a changing table into the brisk digital wind.
Priceless! And I should follow his advice here.