RE: You Say Krappy, I Say Crappy

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/10/05-01:45:58 AM Z
Message-id: <>

On Sun, 9 Jan 2005, Baird, Darryl wrote:

> .... We (artists) don't get to qualify what
> is or isn't art, it is decided for a culture/society by other (some
> current, some future) players in the mix; seldom are these players the
> actual artists involved.
> Atget didn't consider himself and artist, nor did he produce art. He
> sold images to artists, but is considered one of the great
> photo-artists in history. He is long dead and died without ever
> controlling any aspect of his 'artistic' output.

Actually, as was generally agreed in the 1960s, art is what an artist
does, whether they call themselves "artist" or not -- tho given some of
the "art" we see in the magazines, that's no particular recommendation.
In other words, the term "art" is no more precise than, say, the term
"love," or "wealth," or "work." Who would dare say ""work is what I say it
is" for anyone but themselves? And maybe only for that minute?

Susan Sontag had a brilliant observation, tho possibly truer then than
now: That all photography when it's old enough becomes art. I'd wonder
whether all the zillions of cell phone prints will become art, but they
probably will when most have been lost and just a few remain, showing the
chin studs, the tattoos, the shaved heads,the bare pregnant bellies, or
some other trick that's long gone.

A propos of which I strongly recommend the prize winning documentary,
"Other People's Photographs," played recently at Two Boots in the E
Village (did I mention this already?). There's a whole group of collectors
for the boxes and boxes of snapshots of the past 20-30 years... and the
awful stupid curly faded things when enlarged to fill the movie screen are

In any event, I sure would hate to have to make "art" according to Edward
Weston's rules -- naked ladies with their legs spread in the sand. Yuck!
And for better or worse, I myself have mostly failed to make "art" when I
try to get the camera to do my bidding and make something beautiful. The
camera turns it into Krap. But on the other hand, when I'm not paying
attention, the camera can give me a thrilling gift... usually something I
forgot even shooting, and there it is .... perfect. Or what I take for

Maybe my art is in recognizing it, killing the krap and tweaking, or
translating the gold into a sublime object. But if you need rules,
fuggedaboudit. My camera would never oblige.

Received on Mon Jan 10 01:46:09 2005

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