Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Indexishmality

The Mudd Gallery at a past exhibition


Sorry Mary Ann Doane, but I don't take you seriously at all. I really don't believe that I am an idiot for not understanding the concept of indexicality. First of all, it isn't even a word, according to dictionary.com. Neither is indexical for that matter. I had to resort to looking up the word "index," of which I was given the definition, "a sequential arrangement of material." I am not sure what this means in the context of Doane's article, because I could not decipher a word of it. I understand the need to use imaginary words, because sometimes there just simply aren't words that exist to express a concept. However, Doane does not really give a clear definition for this word and many others, therefore leaving us in a Clockwork Orange-type confusion over her text. Here is an example of a paragraph that needs a team of Rosetta Stone translators to get the point across:

"We tend to think of a medium as a material or technical means of 
aesthetic expression that harbors both constraints and possibilites, 
the second arguably emerging as a consequence of the first."

Translation: I don't know, but I do think she should team up with Ted Nelson because she shares his ire about the limitations of traditional mediums.

That being said, I am proud to say that our exhibition, "Watching," is almost ready for viewing tonight at 6:30 in the Mudd Gallery. I have learned that everything you see in a gallery is most likely the result of hundreds of drafts, and dozens of steps, edits, do-overs, and tweaks. Nothing that goes up on a wall got there after one attempt. It is this arduous process that makes the final product ready to view. I enjoyed watching the class as they perfected their projects, and I hope that tonight's audience appreciates all the hard work that we put in. I learned yesterday that more than half of the people who are featured in my photographs cannot attend the exhibition due to a Wind Ensemble rehearsal, which was disappointing. However, I guess this is one of the aspects of being an artist that we have to learn about, as well.

5 comments:

  1. I'm glad I am not the only one who had trouble with the Doane article. I feel as if she over extended herself and as a result made the article that much harder for her audience (the reader) to understand. She is one of the few writers who made me upset (mostly because I had a hard time trying to understand the words that she made up)...

    I suppose that it was an admirable paper in the photography world where the theory needed to perhaps be expanded on... but I don't necessarily believe that photography should be made more impressive with the use of eloquent words or complex phrases... for me, the images speak for themselves. And by the way, great exhibition prints!

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  2. I agree that the Doane article was convoluted, though I'm assuming that we're not her intended audience. I know little about semiotics, indices, and photography, so that's probably not giving me a head start on understanding her. Though that quotation you used was one of the few that I understood.

    I think our exhibition opening went well, and your prints look great!

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  3. It is really a big effort like you said for everyone from taking pictures, editing, selecting and printing to finally hanging them on the wall. It make me learn that artists also need serious attitude for art just like scientist do science. What we need to learn is not just making art but also showing art. The way of showing art is as important as making art. Like how to make audience feel comfortable watching art, the idea of sequencing art work...

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  4. Doane is confusing, to be sure. I really enjoyed how you addressed the finished gallery work as a process. We experienced so much editing with this project and then finally the culmination. I think the gallery opening was largely successful, though I too, experience a lack of my models being able to attend. At least the gallery will stay open for a few weeks, just like a real (off campus) venue.

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  5. Sorry about the indexicality thing. It is a huge issue in art right now as artists find their important work is "indexing" the world, that is making a record and combining and juxtaposing images to make meaning or to help us all understand what all of it could/does mean. The photographic print is thought to have a more direct relationship with the real world in that the object must exist in order to photograph it and then the print is struck from a negative that had a direct relationship to that object. In the digital world, objects can be created, re-arranged, moved, obliterated hence changing everything. Sometimes this stuff is simple, it's just that theorists try so hard to make sure to articulate every obvious aspect so it can be understood in the future....

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