Grass Like Tousled Hair – Jan Chipchase – Future Perfect
Tilt-shift perspectives for under a buck? TiltShift Generator for the iPhone.
While we were in Japan I read The Painter of Battles: A Novel
by Arturo Perez-Reverte – I read the Kindle version on my iPhone. At one point he writes about the lines that cross to bring people together or diverge to keep them apart. The net of interaction. What a Buddhist might call Karma, I suppose. The other day a friend asked about my photography. I wrote:
Photography, and much of art in general, is about making associations, that is, seeing, or rather recognizing, lines, diagonals, shapes, colors in a landscape, seeing some kind of order in a landscape that tells a story. As such photography is no different from cooking or making music. It’s all about using reference points and infusing them with some kind of meaning or emotion.
Each culture has their own reference points. What an American would consider pop-food, middle of the road, palette-pleasing, a Chinese or Japanese person might find strange or even inedible – when asked which Western food is the most digusting, Chinese school children overwhelming elected uncooked mushrooms – and there are of course dishes in Japan and China that are very challenging to Euro-American tastes.
The same is true in music, of course. Bebop or very traditional Flamenco, modern classical music – they might all require a little getting used to, just like a bowl of really hot green Thai curry. Jazz that isn’t challenging enough for a Bebop fan might be much to complex for a Jazz n00b.
Food that might be considered too spicy in the USA or Europe, might not be spicy enough for people in South-East Asia. So, references are culture-dependent, although those references are becoming more globally understood – even in Italy one can now find Chinese, Thai, Japanese restaurants.
It seems to me that art is about linking. The linking of a landscape with geometry in a photograph. The linking of a new dish to the flavors of a season. The linking of a melody to a tradition or a style. The linking of poetry to an emotion, or a season – and possibly without mentioning the emotion at all. And therein lies the difference between art-linking and internet-linking. Internet is about literal hypertext. Art, whether it is a painting, photography, poetry, music or cooking, is about poetic linking. A poem about momiji leaves falling from the tree in Autumn is not about linking to the species of tree, but might be about the brevity of an individual life. Or, it might be about the sadness experienced when leaving friends.
What I like about my solo concerts with slideshow is the fluid linking that occurs every time. Linkage between the photographs themselves, linkage between the photos and the music. Linkage between what is going on onstage and the members of the audience etc….
Speaking of linking: I bought Robbie Williams’ new album “Reality Killed the Video Star”. You are surprised? Well, I didn’t buy it for the music, I bought it to play the meta-game, to find all of the references and to check out the production. Williams brought in the old A-team: Trevor Horn, Stephen Lipson, Anne Dudley etc.
The Meta-game starts with the album title, actually. The producer of the album is Trevor Horn, who produced many hit records in the Nineties, including Seal, Grace Jones, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and others, and who had a big hit in the Eighties with an album called “Video Killed the Radio Star”. So, reality killed the video star, who in turn killed the radio star…
The sound of the music is terribly compressed, but I imagine the orchestration sounded quite lush before mastering. Anyway, I hear John Lennon, Elton John, The Beatles, Kraftwerk, OMD, David Bowie and many others. A cornucopia of sounds from the Eighties.
PS: I really enjoyed The Painter of Battles: A Novel, although, maybe enjoy is the wrong word. Not an easy book, but I found it very rewarding.
PPS: Of course, literal linking could be just the start, just as poetry started with literal descriptions, e.g. I am sad because Summer is over and you have to leave before turning to less direct imagery. A meta-story could appear on the interwebs any minute, something that links noises, music, images, poetry to a text. Moving toward complexity, life does (((Yoda-speak))).