Thursday, 2 August 2007

Art for scientists?

While thinking about the contrast between my job and my photo life as displayed via the blog I wondered - is photography art for scientists?

I know many with a science/engineering background who are keen to serious photographers (not just holiday snappers) but very few who take up other art forms (save maybe the odd musician). I think it has something to do with the bit that comes between vision and execution: namely technique.

I don't believe vision defines artists, but the execution of that vision. Art is not in the concept but the doing and making.

Whether you ae an "art as verb" type or "art as noun" type, there is a clear part of the art process that is the "doing" requiring some sort of technique to be applied. It might be paint, pencil, sculpture or indeed photography. I believe that the technique one chooses is largely based on talent, some sort of aptitude or affinity for the medium. Hence the scientist drawn towards photography: it is a very technology, mechanial kind of art form. The camera is very much a mechanical (or these electronic) device that I think sits well with the scientific mind.

I know for me, personally, there is "art as concept" going on in the brain. I can see the world as a seres of pictures, moments, whatever. I also know that I have not the aptitude to capture what I see with brush or pen but have a natural feel for the use of a camera. I like the mechanical aspect in bringing my vision to fruition, working the camera seems to come quite natural.
With the advent of digital editting it also fits in well with my bits & pieces approach to working. In the darkroom one has to have the patience and appliction to seethe job through. with the comptuer I can come and go to the work, tweaking and refining, erasing mistakes and so on.

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