Re: The value of the handmade

From: Fabiano Busdraghi ^lt;>
Date: 03/15/05-09:45:14 AM Z
Message-id: <>

--- Richard Sullivan <> wrote:
> I am reminded of the statement made by Walter Chappell made in the 1940's
> that is quoted in one of Alan Coleman's tomes that photographers fall into
> two basic categories, printmakers and image makers. Let's not quibble over
> the obvious overlaps. Obviously I as most others here would fall into the
> printmaking category. Of course image is important but for us, so is the
> print. To paraphrase a quote from Chuck Close in the recent book on the
> avant garde and alternative photography: "your relationship to the process
> is often more important than the content of the image." I think that pretty
> much says it.
> If we are printmakers, as I suspect most here would label themselves then
> the print becomes important and the means of its capture and encoding is
> secondary. I have little problem with a well made carbon or platinum print
> (or other processes of your choice) that are made from a digital negative
> or captured digital image. Perhaps a Sally Mann platinum made from a 16x20
> wetplate collodion is a bit more "authentic" but for us the essence lies in
> the print itself.
> I teach at a local college here and the first few classes deal extensively
> with issues about the handmade. Students are strongly attracted to the
> handmade but are a bit confused about why. Things like permanence, or image
> detail come up but I quickly quash that line of talk as it leads to a dead
> end. The handmade has an allure precisely because it is handmade. Not
> because it is any more permanent or holds more detail, or any other
> attribute. The example I sometimes use is to ask if anyone has a Rolex
> watch. Usueally not but someone will have a Tag Heure or other expensive
> watch but even not the point can still be made. I ask why it cost $3000.00.
> Durability, accuracy, get thrown in. I then point out that I have a Timex
> Radio watch on that costs $39.00 and keeps constant time to the 100th of a
> second by logging into the atomic clock in Fort Collins Colorado. I then
> toss it on the floor. In just about every quality one can ascribe to a
> watch the Timex wins but no one will either toss their Rolex on the floor
> or trade me for for the Timex. The Rolex has craft value. It is expensive
> to make and takes a good deal of hand skills in it's manufacture. A
> digitally >printed< image is in effect the Timex of the print world. A fine
> handmade print is the Rolex.
> As an aside it was a big issue that Bill Clinton was wearing a Timex at his
> '92 inaugural. Horrors!
> Just some ideas.
> --Dick Sullivan
> At 06:41 AM 3/15/2005, you wrote:
> > >>> 03/15/05 12:08 AM >>>
> >
> > >>...that digital imaging is a new form of alternative process
> >photography...
> >
> >Bob Schramm<<
> >
> >
> >
> >I take issue with that terminology and would hate to see this list
> >become overwhelmed by discussions of digital capture technologies and
> >output devices. As marvelous as digital cameras, scanners, printers and
> >inkjet prints are, the latter are not true photographic prints formed by
> >the direct action of light but a rather different beast. There are
> >other more appropriate forums for digital discourse related to capture
> >and output IMO.
> >
> >Currently, when it comes to digital technologies, the list has confined
> >itself largely to discussions of how to make a digital negative to be
> >utilized in making an alternative process photographic print. I think
> >that is as it should be since the final outcome from that process and
> >light attenuator is an actual photograph.
> >
> >Joe

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Received on Tue Mar 15 09:45:33 2005

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