Saturday, February 09, 2008

Visual Gluttony

As I said recently I wanted to say a few things about pictures. I recently was at Prayer Retreat. While there I was talking to someone who is involved in the arts and I was talking about this "thing" that's in my head that I can't really explain, but I need some ideas from somewhere (yes that is a run-on sentence). Anyway, while talking to him I had this thought, that as a rule, we are visual gluttons. How long have you looked at any scene, photograph or image and looked at it for more than two minutes? How many have you looked at for more than thirty seconds?

In particular, I have found the internet to be a good/bad thing when it comes to images. I can find some incredible images taken by all kinds of people. Yet my appetite for such images is rather large, and I don't savour them as I likely ought to. There is SO much out there that I feel that I have to see more...  Yet I wonder if skimming over so many images so quickly has a detrimental effect on our creativity.  Certainly it can expose us to many different kinds of photography that we might not have thought of previously, but does it give us the sense that everything has been done before so what can I add to the world with my own art.  I think it's the same in any of the arts, I mean what can you sing a song about that hasn't been sung about before?  What can you sculpt that hasn't been sculpted, what can be written that hasn't already graced a page?  Is it all meaningless?  (and honest I haven't been reading Ecclesiastes although maybe I should go back there).  

SO to wrap this up, does looking at hundreds of images at a time and skimming over them briefly change how we see the world?
Maybe I'm just saying we need to simply slow down.

1 comment:

Trevor & Colleen said...
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