Friday, March 16, 2012

Film and Photography as Art

I was reading an article by Berys Gaut on Cinema as Art.What brought me to this book is the possibility of a naturally occuring camera.  The author imagines a natural camera obscura (a hole into a cave) and some naturally occuring photographic salts on the floor of the cave. If a photograph is created of a passing elephant, we would call that a real photograph. But if paint were to fall onto the floor because it was blown by the wind, we wouldn't call that a real painting. That's because a painting, Gaut supposes, necessarily involves intentionality on the part of the artist, while the photograph does not.
Could one create artificial intentionality in a robot that puts paint to canvas?
He points out that in a sense, any film is a documentary, in the sense that it records what the actors were doing at certain moments in time. Except special effects blur this line, as do animations, I would think.
Anyway, there may be a much older connection between artistic representation and the camera.  Watch this video about stone age cameras!

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