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Thread: Sensory Dead

  1. #1

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    Sensory Dead

    ...music is the sonic wallpaper of our lives...'Douglas Wilson'

    Wilson makes the point that in 1000's of years we humans have gone from no music at all except in very special circumstances, times and places, to banal background noise that we largely...do not hear.

    Music was for kings. Then it was for everybody. Then it was...just sort of...there.

    My mind made the immediate and very easy leap to images.

    First, they were for kings and whoever else could hire a painter. Then they were for everyone. Then we drowned in them. We no longer see the images, we no longer hear the music.

    Mostly.

  2. #2
    Green Hand pierre506's Avatar
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    Re: Sensory Dead

    We are old.
    Sometimes love just ain't enough.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierre506/sets/

  3. #3

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    Re: Sensory Dead

    There's always been a difference between talk and conversation. In the days when only kings had pictures, well, only kings had pictures. I'm not sure I'd like to go back.

    All that's needed is a little backbone (to avoid the junk food) and self-assurance (to follow your own instinct).

  4. #4
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Sensory Dead

    We no longer see the images, we no longer hear the music.
    By 'we', I am assuming you mean most of modern humans.

    Ironically, I hear more music now that I am largely deaf than I did as a young man.

    However, for photographs I find that among my elderly professional artist associates and friends, their skepticism of technology transfers to skepticism of the photographic image, and so many young people believe they 'could do that' if they adopted Photoshop or something like it. How often have you read, "How can I change my picture so it has (for example) Rembrandt-like lighting?"

    I still look forward to more Galli & Gray.

  5. #5

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    Re: Sensory Dead

    Once music was funding Beethoven, Mozart etc. to satisfy the richest peoples taste for Art.. The "See what I can have produced that you can not afford to have produced" form of monetary expression. Most current 'music' is funded by the children's taste of the elevator music generation. Make yourself happy, produce what is your taste. Its your Art.

  6. #6
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Sensory Dead

    Seems like a rant that could come in some form from the aging of every age.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 71:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #7

    Re: Sensory Dead

    Canadian filmmaker Sandra Eber told me, in a conversation we had recently, that "no one trusts the image any more". We were standing in front of this:



    ...the local museum of contemporary art. Her nine-screen film, a silent stop-motion experimental animation, was being shown on these large LED displays. She made the film with a Bolex camera on colour film using a pinhole and it ran in a loop for a couple of hours during the evening. This is a busy spot on a Saturday evening with a lot of people passing by and a jumble of sounds, including usual modern (non)tunes from a big shopping centre almost across the street, creating at times unbearable noise. She was very impressed and thought it made for a great presentation of her images and a great meeting of old and new technologies. It became its own music and overran the uniformed, faceless sound clutter around. Individualistic, unique, there and then and memorable.

    But she still felt the image has largely lost its importance. Cagean "everything we hear is music" became "everything we see is an image and you can prove it with all the technology at hand today".

  8. #8

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    Re: Sensory Dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Seems like a rant that could come in some form from the aging of every age.
    Yes, and no. I do think a certain ranting about the young has probably been around for 6,000 years. That's part of the human condition. But my point is, for all the eon's that have come and gone, our generation both young and old are experiencing something totally unique from all the other ages before us. So much music you no longer hear it, so many pictures, you no longer see them. No previous generation ever had that phenomenon.

    Not sure I'm even ranting. I didn't say that was either good or bad. Just different than ever before.

  9. #9

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    Re: Sensory Dead

    I see two qualitative differences.

    First, people used to make music rather than listen to it passively. From working mens' choirs and colliery bands to the parlour piano, people had access to a different sort of music, and, at least since the industrial revolution, consumed it avidly. I don't play anything myself, but put the effort in to see that my children have learned that music can be something you do, not just something you buy.

    When it comes to images, I think there is an extra effect which is that people have come to expect information to come at them in particular forms - to the extent that they distrust their own senses. I have now been in several museums where people - of all ages - are perpetually clustered around the information booths looking at pictures of artifacts and ignoring the real, three-dimensional objects right in front of them. I think that's sad too.

    On the other hand, kids today (affluent, western ones) get to hear their favourite songs as many times as they like. I remember sitting and waiting by the radio hoping they'd play a song again so that I could hit the record button and tape it. I'd have given both kidneys for Spotify.
    On a similar note, if you want to learn about art, good photography or anything else, the opportunities to do so are much greater. But you do have to make the effort.

  10. #10
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Sensory Dead

    I'd say technology, old and new, has coalesced for an era of near-constant sensory overload, and every sense is barraged with entertainment. Music for our ears, images for our eyes. Spicy/salty/greasy foods, and drinks packed with sugar and caffeine to amuse your mouth. Perfumes for the gals, colognes for the guys, air fresheners for the cars... gotta keep those noses busy. We're living in the golden age of everything, all the time, all at once, and more of it.

    Fortunately, most of it can be turned down or off, if you try.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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