Proposed Perception – Week 2

2 Aug


In the Week 2 reading, Susan Sontag writes, “To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.” That’s just exactly it isn’t it? Focusing on a particular object, or theme, or subject will result in the appropriation of the photographed unto the photographer and viewers of the frame. She states, “Recently, photography has become almost as widely practised an amusement as sex and dancing…” Photography as a ‘social rite’ with no grandiose artistic intent is an interesting modern-day notion that needs further investigation of the social-media-feeding frames.

In the portion of the class where Dan proposed new information and new theories for us to ponder over, we took part in a small exercise where we viewed a Keynote presentation depicting examples of several aspects of the frame, including: colour, depth-of-field, and lighting. Although rather patent, it was a good introduction to the topics that we will be exploring this semester’s class.

Presented in his The Republic, Greek philosopher Plato illustrates the Allegory of the Cave – his unrestricted views on what I have come to enjoy analysing, Perception. He idealises that the ‘intelligible’ world is being masked by a domineering visible or ‘sensible’ world and that philosophers break through this illusion. With prisoners viewing shadowed puppetry and objects whilst hearing human speech, they ‘fill in’ the unknown cause and effect of the shadows based on perception. In the 21st century, this could be expanded to read: “…cause and effect of the shadows based on perception AND personal social, environmental, cultural, political and academic discourses.”

Basically, I will perceive a frame vasty (or rarely minutely) different to how any others perceive the same frame.

This brings to mind reader-centred analysis on literary texts, one of English theorists’ largest debates. Where lies the meaning and who has the control – the artist, or the recipient of art? It is a common debate that I believe, only has one true answer: the recipient of art. Why, you may ask? Because the artist is also always the recipient of their own art however the recipient of art is not always the artist. Was Plato’s Allegory of the Cave the first major exploration of perception being garnered exclusively and independently? As I was away from class on Thursday I did not make it to the screening of L’Avventura (translated “The Adventure”) however I am looking forward to finding a copy of this famous film in my own time and watching it. On the Frame is proving to be a very interesting class indeed!


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