On Photography: History, Art and Digital Age.

Towards identification of the medium.

Why and how

I’m always interested in learning more about the beginning of photography. Actually, is not just simple curiosity. The reason why I’m attracted by this topic is that this research helps me to better understand what photography is for me. I never liked the approach of doing something only for the sake of doing it. I get a stronger connection and a deeper respect for the discipline when I study it, which often ends up revealing unexpected findings. By going through this research it just happened I have found one. It’s been right under my nose for a long time, only I didn’t connect the dots.
A recent trip to Italy took me to my old, favorite bookstore in Bologna, laFeltrinelli. I noticed a small book, “L’immagine Infedele _ La Falsa Rivoluzione della Fotografia Digitale” by Claudio Marra (roughly “the Unfaithful Image _ The Fake Revolution of Digital Photography”) which I immediately bought. A quote in this book from the French essayist Jean Clair struck me as a revelation and finally everything in the puzzle I’ve been trying to put together in the past year found its place. I will later come back on this.
On top of that, a few months ago I have read a very good anthology which I recommend to anyone who is interested in this topic: “Classic Essays on Photography”.
In the following analysis, along with my understanding of art, I’ll use quotes from the Classic Essays with the hope to trace a philological route of how photography evolved throughout the time.

Art & Rules

The passage below is from “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind“.
I find it pertinent to our times as it seems it’s become very common to consider Art something that doesn’t need rules.

[…] perfect freedom is not found without some rules. People, especially young people, think that freedom is to do just what they want, that in Zen there is no need for rules. But it is absolutely necessary for us to have some rules. But this does not mean always to be under control. As long as you have rules, you have a chance for freedom. To try to obtain freedom without being aware of the rules means nothing. It is to acquire this perfect freedom that we practice zazen.

Another blog about photography? Not really

It seems that lately, anyone with a website and a photo gallery needs to have a blog and share techniques, tips, and their own point of view about Photography.
I followed several of these bloggers, read many articles, went through the comments and almost every time I did it, I felt disappointed, annoyed, discouraged (and of course it’s totally OK if you have the same reaction while you’re reading this).