Sunday, 1 January 2012
The condition of the photographic image has been worrying me. So much so that I wrote on twitter on January 1st 2012: ‘In a world where anyone can make an image: Refuse.’
I have been noting the proliferation of commercial images and more, the way that software programmes have taken on a professionalisation of the generation of images. And the public through the lesser programmes, with their lesser tendency to professionalisation is generating near professional images - Another way of saying this is that the public is beginning to know what the hidden tropes of image making are.
A trope is of course not hidden, it’s there for all to see. It’s the cliche in action, the tendency towards order in a sea of chaos. Where we, the one hundred thousand monkeys, press the keys of the typewriters a sufficient number of times to imitate something that was once considered great.
A hidden trope is the mechanics behind the magicians art. It’s the quotidian gestures that put together seem to be magical. Saying that, there are of course photographers and cinematographers, who transcend the tricks and tropes of the form - but only a few.
So if we know how to generate impossibly beautiful images and saturate the world with them, do we then risk desensitising ourselves to the beauty of the image?
Of course we do, so then we re-invent the form again and again - and this reinvention takes the form of the opposite tendencies to create new tropes and tricks to create something new. The cinematographer or photographer who realises this eternal round of invention and reinvention innovates and creates the new form first.
'Remediation' is the word used to describe how an incoming media form is met with the thinking of the paradigm conditions by the prior media form - but what word would describe the atrophying of the medium just before the introduction of the new medium" Premediation? And is one of the conditions necessary for the formulation of the new medium its rendition as cliched by overuse?