In general, the video ‘John Berger / Ways of Seeing’ gives us different examples on how our views on anything, or on paintings in this case, are altered with the main cause being the use of the camera. One of the points that interested me more was starting at minute 19:32 where John Berger states “The meaning of an image can be changed according to what you see beside it or what comes after it” and it shows how easily influenced one is when a different context is given to someone such as with the Goya painting the video uses as an example by first using a clip with women dancing and the upbeat music that once the image appears it feels like it has less of a serious meaning. However, once they show the next clip with no audio then the image it gives a deeper meaning and relating it to the clip, even more, based on the upsetting feeling the clip would give. Anything can alter the meaning of a painting it can move it away from what it means or bring it closer. To other maybe it won’t it could be due to prior knowledge of the painting that the meaning of the painting can just stick and stay the same even if there is a painting with a completely different meaning or maybe it can still influence in giving a different view or bring out a different aspect of the painting giving another alteration to a painting and our way of seeing it.
Congratulations to you , our first group of Role 1 posters, for posting about Part 1 of “Ways of Seeing”! Now everyone who signed up to respond can do so. If you need to remember what this whole Roles thing is or how this assignment will work, check out this previous post I made describing what you need to do and when.
Here are the Role 1 posts: from @vhenny space mind, from @bribrianna Brianna M, from @airy Air (E.N.). @rcortes, you were also going to post a Role 1 post–there’s still time today or even early tomorrow morning–so long as the next group has time to read, process, and add their work.
Role 2 folks: that’s @garence, @sruan, and @ezraab. Get ready to post something by Wednesday (again, early Thursday morning won’t destroy us in this first round, especially with the holiday, but we’ll get on a stricter schedule as this becomes more comfortable to each of us). Read the above posts and choose one to respond to. If someone has already responded, please move on to another until they’re all responded to once before doubling up (this is more a concern for Role 3 this time, since everyone wanted that).
Role 3 folks: that’s everyone else (unless you decide to add to Role 2 just to balance things out). You’ll add your responses by Thursday (or early on Friday, again, just this time). Remember to choose a post that doesn’t already have a Role 3 response until all have one, then make sure it doesn’t already have 2. We want to keep things even, so everyone gets to enjoy the conversation!
After this round, we’ll move on to Part 2 of “Ways of Seeing,” then Part 3. We’ll check in before Part 4 to see if we need to adjust. Your role for each shifts down one (Role 1 becomes Role 2, Role 2 becomes Role 3, and Role 3 becomes Role 1).
This might sound complicated, but it will be exciting to have more of our work read and responded to than all of us talking at once with no one listening!
In this video, John Berger made an interesting statement where he says, “perspective makes the eye the centre of the visible world. ” He talks about how the camera chnaged not only what we see, but how we see it . With painting for example, the camera can reproduce it, making available for everyone to see worldwide. When it comes to art, nearly everything we learn or read about, it encourages an attitude and expectation. That “important” paintings are protected not because of it’s meaning or what it shows. Mostly because of it’s market value. “The most important thing about paintings themselves is that their image are silent, still” quote by john berger. He also noted that music and rhythm changed the significance of a picture. That images are more like words than holy relic.
In the video Ways of Seeing/John Berger, there are many things he points out but they all contribute to one main idea. From 7:00 to 20:00 of the video, the main idea is shown by different points, which is that even though the modernization of viewing art has grown, you can only get the true meaning and experience of art by seeing it with your own eyes. John Berger expresses this by giving you three different ways of how viewing art isn’t as impactful as looking at in person with your own eyes. The three ways are the camera, sound, and movement.
John expresses how the invention of the camera took away the inability to experience looking at art with our own eyes, and also just the value of looking at them in person. “The camera, by making the work of art transmittable, has multiplied its possible meanings and destroyed its unique original meaning. They have lost and gained. The most important thing about the paintings themselves is that their images are silent, still.” (11:16-11:31) So, in this he’s saying how because of a camera and producing duplicates of artwork, for the convenience of people it creates people to believe a painting has way more meanings than what the artist intended, “unique original meaning”. Now at the end of that quote, he talks about a painting being silent. This is where he transitions into sound, and how it affects the viewing of art, and what he’s saying is that you’re meant to look at art silently so you can process everything going on in it. Adding music or sounds while viewing a painting or piece of artwork, makes it feel like you need to feel a certain way about the art because of the tone of how the music or sounds make you feel. From 16:23-16:53 they show a painting of Van Gogh that he did right before killing himself, they show the painting in silence, and then they show the painting with very slow rhythm music. “This meaning is liable to be manipulated and transformed,” (18:48).
So then the final way he talks about the being manipulated so that people can’t experience its true meaning is movement. This more has to do with an actual film camera where you can look at art on television or video. He talks about how camera movement makes the viewer only see what and where the “main point” of the painting. Which excludes the whole experience of looking at the artwork with your own eyes and taking in every detail instead of zooming in on a detail with a camera. “The camera moves in to remove a detail of a painting from the whole,” and, ” You have been waiting impatiently for the camera to go in to examine details” (13:39 & 15:03).
John Berger expresses how there are main things a camera can do to manipulate the ways of seeing art by duplicating, movement, and sound. A camera deletes the human interaction of looking at a painting, original and in silence. The modernization of viewing art made it convenient for people to view art but not experience the true meaning that these artists tried to convey.
Quotes and timestamps that lead me to the main idea
“The invention of the camera has changed not only what we see, but how we see it” [3:10] Camera’s take pictures that can be reproduced so that everyone can see it instead of needing to be in one place [3:33] The camera made paintings reproducible and even though people say it’s for expanding culture. Because it also tied back to profit and money people who buy these copies might not buy it for its “unique original meaning” [11:18]
“Reproduction of works of art can be used by anyone for their own purposes” [21:10]”because they were really looking and really relating to what they saw to their own experience” [27:42]
“You receive images and meanings which are arranged” [29:12]
What I got from this video in the [20:00~30:00 section] is that art is viewed and explained through many different types of people with different experiences [example with the children] which is why reproduced paintings can be changed in many ways when it comes to the meaning. How the camera chooses certain details in a specific order can tell a story. The camera chooses how you see detail and if it’s zoomed out then you wouldn’t see much detail compared to if you were there in person. He also gives the example of how you can crop an image and change its meaning which causes the intention of the painting to fade. If you see a painting through a camera it’s hard to catch the details unless the painting is zoomed in or the camera pans.
The main idea is that in order to fully experience a painting, you need to be there. The camera changes how you see paintings because you can miss some details or only focus on certain details which changes the entire meaning of the image. If you see other information in text, images or a video before seeing an image it could tell a different story than what is intended to tell. But if you’re there in person to see a painting it would be different because all you’re seeing is the image itself and it’s up to your interpretation without other people manipulating the meaning.
To discuss “Ways of Seeing,” and to begin our blogging in earnest, we will attempt a sequence that puts everyone in conversation. The person in Role 1 will write a post (category “Reading Discussion,” tag “Ways of Seeing” Part [1, 2, 3, or 4], plus any other relevant tags) approximately 200-300 words long, in which they consider the assigned video. The people in Role 2 and Role 3 will write a comment that is approximately 200-300 words.
To do so, choose one of the following roles for the first day. You will cycle through all three roles. You are of course welcome to comment additionally!
Here’s where it might seem complicated: follow the due dates for your particular role. I will update this with your initials so you know what to do when.
|Part 1: Role 1, due 9/18: choose a passage or moment from the video and write a POST about it
Part 2: Role 2, due 9/21: In a COMMENT in response to that post, compare that passage or moment and what your classmate wrote about it to another passage or moment in the video
|Part 1: Role 2, due 9/19: In a COMMENT in response to that post, compare that passage or moment and what your classmate wrote about it to another passage or moment in the video
Part 2: Role 3, due 9/22: in a COMMENT in respond to what was written above, making an additional connection to something either in the video or something else we have encountered so far in either course of this Learning Community.
Part 3: Role 1, due 9/25: choose a passage or moment from the video and write a POST about it
Part 4: TBD
|Part 1: Role 3, due 9/20: in a COMMENT in respond to what was written above, making an additional connection to something either in the video or something else we have encountered so far in either course of this Learning Community.
Part 2: Role 1, due 9/23: choose a passage or moment from the video and write a POST about it
Part 3: Role 2, due 9/26 before class: In a COMMENT in response to that post, compare that passage or moment and what your classmate wrote about it to another passage or moment in the video
Part 4: TBD