Re: Crappy/Krappy Rant

From: Joe Smigiel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/04/05-08:10:02 AM Z
Message-id: <>

>>> 01/04/05 3:07 AM >>>
... It would be
a great class to teach and I am sure it has been done * hand the class some
plastic cameras and 10 rolls of film at the beginning of the semester and then
require that each produce a show of 20 images at the end of the semester.
Mark Nelson

About 10 years ago after teaching a Zone System class among other things I enrolled in a photo class at the local Art Institute. The purpose of doing so was social rather than thinking I would learn something. The first night the instructor handed everyone a Sunpet plastic camera (even less sophisticated than the Diana) and two rolls of Tri-X 120 film with instructions to take a walk around a two block urban area and return within the hour having shot both rolls. These turned out to be the best two rolls I have ever shot in my life. Very liberating. (I actually got about a half show from these two rolls.)

I've since taken several painting classes at the same institution from a couple very talented painters. In the courses I have been fortunate to take, there is always a healthy discussion about materials and techniques among the participants both in and out of class. I really think the discussion or lack of same regarding materials between artists depends on who you talk to. Those grounded in more Academic tradition seem to have a much better command of their materials and are more fluent in (or perhaps more open to) discussing all aspects of their art and techniques. I also tend to appreciate their work more maybe because a large part of what I do concerns process and method.

Don Feinberg also makes some points that resonate with me when he discusses his feelings involving making the instrument that produces the images. I'm in the (surprisingly long) process of building my own ULF field camera and that trip has introduced me to crafts including wood and metalworking where I've met some simply wonderful people. The whole handbuilt camera thing coupled with handmade alternative process printing is very rewarding. And, I think the more one is involved in the materials and process, the greater and more universal is the enjoyment of the creative process.

Serendipity is nice too.

Received on Tue Jan 4 08:07:53 2005

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