Wednesday, October 7, 2009

lack of communication

One of the effects of the budget cuts has been the removal of telephone lines from Faculty offices within the School of Arts and Science (unless they have an administrative role - the Chair can still be interrupted from her musings by a sudden ring...), which I have to say doesn't seem to me a big deal in this age of cell phones. But why should public pay-phones be eliminated - nay, ripped from the wall - as well? What happens if one has forgotten to re-charge one's cell phone? What of the increase in labor for the Chair (head round door: "oh, er...excuse me...I was there a phone anywhere I could use?")?

But this isn't a complaint, but a photographic exercise: an act of semi-abstraction, stimulated by Lyle Rexer's excellent new book, The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography. What he's concerned with are "photographs that refuse to disclose fully the images they contain;" that refuse mimesis in any simple way; that demand interpretation; that chafe at the limits of what we customarily think of as the photographic; that offer up "an impatience with mere visuality." I've only just started reading it, but I've already found very many resonances - in both text and images - with exactly the kind of abstract challenges that I often like my own photographs to pose.

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