Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Day 282 – Tabernacle of the devil

Well that’s what my grandmother calls tv! Growing up I used laugh when she would give out about television, saying people didn’t have time to pray anymore. Now though, I wonder, if not praying, what  could we be doing that would be of more benefit to our lives than watching mind-numbing sitcoms?! So instead of getting stuck into another episode of ’24’ this arvo I looked at Ruskin’s theories and principles on art. His theories greatly influenced the Pre-Raphaelites whose portraits, especially those fro Julia-Margaret Cameron, I love. This is not to say I agree with all of them but they’re still interesting to think about. They are summarised below by Kenneth Clark:

– Art is not a matter of taste, but involves the whole man. Whether in making or perceiving a work of art, we bring to bear on it feeling, intellect, morals, knowledge, memory, and every other human capacity, all focused in a flash on a single point. Aesthetic man is a concept as false and dehumanizing as economic man.

– Even the most superior mind and the most powerful imagination must found itself on facts, which must be recognized for what they are. The imagination will often reshape them in a way which the prosaic mind cannot understand; but this recreation will be based on facts, not on formulas or illusions.

– These facts must be perceived by the senses, or felt; not learnt.

– The greatest artists and schools of art have believed it their duty to impart vital truths, not only about the facts of vision, but about religion and the conduct of life.

– Beauty of form is revealed in organisms which have developed perfectly according to their laws of growth, and so give, in his own words, ‘the appearance of felicitous fulfillment of function.’

– This fulfillment of function depends on all parts of an organism cohering and cooperating. This was what he called the ‘Law of Help,’ one of Ruskin’s fundamental beliefs, extending from nature and art to society.

– Good art is done with enjoyment. The artist must feel that, within certain reasonable limits, he is free, that he is wanted by society, and that the ideas he is asked to express are true and important.

– Great art is the expression of epochs where people are united by a common faith and a common purpose, accept their laws, believe in their leaders, and take a serious view of human destiny


Day 189 – Pictures

Pictured is my friend Hugh, who I was taking a few photos of today for his website. In case it’s not obvious he is a film maker!

Film has such an interesting relationship to photography in that its very similar but also completely different. Film is a series of photos that combine to give a sense of movement, and photography takes one of those moments and immortalises it. It can tell more of the story by freezing time to allow a more considered contemplation and it can add an air of mystery by what it doesn’t show. It can also lie. Similarly video or films are moments put together to tell a story that resembles life, or in some cases is purely a product of imagination. Also similarly what the filmmaker choses to focus on narrows a narrative for the viewer and points them to the story. Neither is never the full story but every piece of art is a self portrait of the artist as well as what they want to say.

I’m terrible though, for someone who spends hours each week looking at photos, whether they’re in books, magazines, billboards, adverts, etc… I rarely watch examples of the moving image. I haven’t been to the cinema in forever and, apart from the news and the odd chat show, only watch one TV programme a week (Rush, Channel 10, Thurs 8pm!). I guess the influence of a sporting life in Ireland meant I was never home for the ‘good’ programmes in the afternoons and spent the most of my teens and twenties seeing TV as something that could be missed, in the grand scheme of things. (Pity I didn’t tell myself the same thing about the internet!)

As busy as I am now TV rarely gets a look in and too many bad or even average films have convinced me that cinema can so often amount to ‘2 hours of my life that I’ll never get back’! I should make time for it though, now that I can deconstruct images a little better (note a little, not a lot!), and try learn something from the people who were obviously good enough to get their show on TV or the big screen. I find it takes a bit of effort though, to analyse what you are looking at as well as getting caught up in the emotional drama, and too often it’s just easier to watch rather than actually see.

Quote of the day: The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. – John Huston

Day 186 – TV Head

Another picture for another college assignment, this time trying to show the way people hide or mask themselves. I’m not sure what kind of message this clothes shop in Newtown is trying to send with their ‘tv head’ model but it looks kinda interesting!

You could speculate on some deeper meaning but then again it might mean absolutely nothing and just be a bright shining gimmick to get people to notice the shop. I guess it worked!

Quote of the day: All television is educational television.  The question is:  what is it teaching?  Nicholas Johnson