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All images are abstractions.  Photographic images are even more so.  We start with the arbitrary frame that defines what is the photographic images and what is not.  We continue with the odd viewing that one does in a photograph (and to a lesser amount in a painting).  This is a viewing where one looks at the photographic image as a whole somehow combining detail viewing with peripheral viewing to form a complete picture.  And then there is B&W photography where density and contrast are king instead of color hue and color intensity.  This is of course a further abstraction especially when displayed on paper.


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Our vision is naturally stereoscopic (for those with two eyes that can converge) but it is essentially different from the 3D images we see in movies or in a Viewmaster.  Our eyes have a natural f-stop of about 3.4 which means that we have to focus on a part of a view and not the whole of what is in front of us.  A 2 dimensional photograph is an abstraction both because it has several focal planes in focus and it is in 2 dimensions rather than 3.  

I would use the term hyper-real for 3-D or stereoscopic images (and movies).  By properly scanning with our eyes we can see all focal planes at once.  This is the kind of looking that we use whenever we look at a "normal" photograph.  A vision that not so much scans over the whole of the image but takes in the image all at once.


Individually every photo stands on their own and work indexically as all good photos should.  Together through I have a different idea.  I want to present all the photos in their relative position to the baseball field.  I propose to do this by mocking up a rough stadium (just enough to be able to put backlit transparencies at the various different positions.

 

Therefore in a sense it becomes a resurrection of the stadium.


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Photograms like Chemical Dependencies bear a special indexical relationship.  Since they don't point to a slice of time and space they point back to their own creation.  You can work out where I mixed developer and fix or developer and stop bath.  Or where I cut the paper with a tool that had chemistry upon it.  In short it is the very act of creation that is being pointed to.  Hence my statement that photograms have a special indexical relationship.  This also lessens the importance of image since size becomes much more important as the size helps tell how the piece was created.


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I used to hear my mentor (Hollis Frampton) say that a photograph was a slice of time and space.  I'd like to expand upon his remarks.  To say that it is a slice of space and time is to say that it is essentially linked from the photograph to that time in space and time.  This relationship between the two is indexical in essence.  This link between the two is so strong that we can get fooled by tricks (i.e. photoshop).  In a painting this would just be considered part of the painters "artistic vision" but with a photograph we expect that the image bears some necessary connection to reality.  


THe downside of this linkage is that the other two main ways of linking a piece of art to the world we see, taste and feel is either iconic or symbolic.  I will claim that no photograph has the iconic nature of say the Mona Lisa or the symbolic nature of an old masters painting.  When photographers try and imbue a photograph with symbolism it turns out to be a strange duck.  Look at the works of Josef Fischnaller who imitates old masters paintings.  Instead of the symbolic aspects being in harmony they appear forced and alien because we seek to link that picture back to a time and place.