Re: Scanning pigment stain... and talking SCIENCE (that horse is still kicking !)

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;>
Date: 04/23/04-05:37:08 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Fri, 23 Apr 2004, Sandy King wrote:

> I say do what Dave suggests. Go try the (in)famous gum test yourself
> if the subject motivates you. If the test reveals anything of
> interest use it to make some prints. And be sure to send the results
> to JS and KT.

Sandy, you of all people -- sounding, my dear fellow, like you don't take
gum very seriously. Just mush it around and "get motivated"? What's
getting motivated got to do with it? Are we trying to push gum? Anyone
doing Anderson's "system" is by definition *motivated.* That's not this

And, really -- "anything of interest"??? All sorts of things are "of
interest" -- finger painting, taffy pulls and a yellow cloud of daffodils.
Doing Anderson's "test" proves only that you can follow instructions.
(And if you need that mishigas to "get motivated"... oh dear.) I am
talking about *proof* not "interest."

But I take a detour here to note that, much as I deeply, profoundly
appreciate Bob Schramm's kind words for my gum prints (artists NEVER get
enough praise), I do NOT correlate the beauty and wonder of one's prints
in any medium with one's understanding of its science and technique. In
fact it can be the other way around, the art getting lost in the
technique. (OK, I won't mention Ansel Adams, there are many more obvious
-- & I'm TRYING to get to the point... But what did Lartigue know about
"photography" as a 10-year old when he was given a box camera and
intuitively made some of the most enchanting pictures in our history...?
Even in gum printing, I've seen the veriest beginner, sometimes the class
dummy, make a delightful work of art.)

But that may have riled folks. Certainly Katharine said it was what pushed
her to build her website. So could we please agree that one could be wrong
about the (in)famous GPR test and still be a really good, even GREAT,
gummist? If there is any correlation between tech knowledge and great art,
which I don't know, I doubt it's in photography anyway, so could we drop
that question?

The question I ask is, how do you prove a premise? Folks, I'm trying to
help. Proof, I am trying to explain, doesn't come by simply reenacting
the premise. It comes by testing the premise against a control. I did
that. Anderson didn't. I proved that at least in some combos (of paint and
paper) the concentration of DICHROMATE controls pigment stain. Could I
tell in advance which ones? I could not. (Actually in nearly all my tests
the dichromate controlled the pigment stain, but I'm trying to allow for
Katharine finding it didn't.) Then why "test" without the dichromate? I
don't know.

And why isn't that the end of the story? My best explanation for the
resistance, and the, my-oh-my character assassination (didn't he get
warned for that last year?) from Dave, off the deep end again -- poor
fellow can't deal with it at ALL -- aside from fears about aspersions on
their art, is that nobody wants to think they've been dumb. Sorry, that
doesn't cancel out, pardon the expression, "science." However, I have read
that nowadays "research" is often done double blind -- that is, the
researchers don't know what their tests are supposed to be proving, and
their interim tallies are garbled by computer so their own ideas of what's
being proved, or not, won't affect their readings. (Scary, isn't it? But
scientifically true.)

Meanwhile, dear Sandy, you know perfectly well that just DOING something
doesn't prove diddle... You can DO it until the paint runs dry, every
acacia tree is dead, and all the swans in creation have turned into powder
puffs, and not prove a blessed thing -- or not beyond desire and faith,
and they are givens. To prove a premise you have to test against a
control. I did.

Received on Fri Apr 23 17:37:27 2004

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