The story is great and coming here soon.
Ever felt that you had too much to do? Not being able to raise you head for a breath of fresh air? Or tend to your favourite blog as often as you would like to?
Well, in the meantime you need to look for additional connotations in this photograph. Is that ok with you? For the moment?
Stay tuned. Plenty of more posts to come And photographs.
I am going to continue a bit with Roland Barthes.
Not because his name is Roland Barthes, and since he already has made a name for himself within the broader field of communication. But for two other reasons. The first one being that the posts tagged “Barthes” seems to work pretty good on this blog, and secondly because he is central for the barebones themes in that he works with both verbal and visual communication.
A section in his famous article The Photographic Message is about Text and Image. Barebones want to make the points Barthes addresses, in that section, operational, and show how they can be used both proactively when constructing a message e.g trying to communicate a thought, and reactively when deconstucting a message for e.g. analysis.
Barthes addresses three points in the combination of text and image. There are probably many more, but we will start with blog posts on these three:
1) Text as parasite to an image (post coming up)
2) Text as innocent to an image (post coming up)
3) Text as contradiction to an image (post coming up)
Even if the wording here is esoteric the content of what Barthes is saying is not that hard to grasp.
I will treat these three points/procedures in separate posts. Now you are warned. The separate posts on text and image will be linked to this introductory post.
And remember: reading blogs are not a substitute for reading books. And reading books are not a substitute for reading life. If you want to know more about Barthes, go get the book. If you want to know more about life, buy a camera.
You could start with the link below.
Library Thing. (Roland Barthes: Image, Music, Text, Fontana Press 1977, UK. Essays selected and translated by Stephen Heath).
For more posts on Roland Barthes go here.
Brief tribute to a red car.
Just to remind you of Roland Barthes’ connotation procedures. His article from 1961 The Photographic Message tells the story. All but one, of his 6 procedures, have so far been treated on barebones. It you want to read the posts, you can start right at this page. Just follow the links.
Which reminds me that I have to write a post on his ”syntax”, as well. Not forgotten.
And while you are here: Don’t forget to listen to U2‘s No Line On The Horizon. The reviews haven’t been all that good, but listen to it a couple of times and I am sure you’ll get over it. Let you cruise over the horizon, indeed. In a red car. In a masterpiece.
Best cruiser from the album is Moment of Surrender.
Good luck with it.
Library Thing. (Roland Barthes: Image, Music, Text, pages 15-31, Fontana Press 1977, UK. Essays selected and translated by Stephen Heath)
Roland Barthes had another flamboyant idea. Analysing stills from another great master, the Russian Serge Eisenstein, he lacked a word for the meaning that was bluntly there. So he invented a label for that kind of meaning. He called it obtuse: the blunt meaning. You can read all about it in his essay “The Third Meaning”, or you can read a bit about how others interpret it, by following this link. The article on obtuse meaning was originally written in the French magazine Cahiers du cinéma in 1970.
As you clearly can see, the photograph above are embedded with obtuse meanings. Well, bluntly …. . You need to take a good look at the photograph, because as Barthes says, the obtuse meaning cannot be described. Good luck with it.
Picture shot at Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark 2008.
Here is another notebook brief for you. Comes in handy when I don’t have ready time to do more lengthy posts.
Do you find that this photograph carries a strong and simple message? I do, but you don’t have to agree, of course. But if you do, what then are the semiological or other barebones tools, that carries this message thought? How do you explain the impact in terms of these tools?
Shot at Pierre Lachaise, Paris, France, some years ago.
Stay alive. Good luck with it.
Looking for the right direction to take in 2009?
At barebones communication, that is not a big deal since it has been advertised along the way. So, like the beach man, in the picture below, we are slightly turning our head, but keeping our body steadfast. Eyes wide open.
1. The first year, barebones communication, has concentrated on cutting through the soft tissues of communication, and has tried to lay bare the bones that effects every real life acts of communication. There are still missing links in this work, and I will continue to fill in what is missing. Roughly this work will add to the themes that are already well established on the blog; semiology, phenomenology, gestalt psychology, naturalistic human sciences and types of experiential resources. These themes are the barebones pillars, and they will continue to play a crucial part of what is going to come on this blog.
3. The turning of the head, however, means that I, to a larger extent, will put these things to practical use. Elaborating more on specific real life communication. You already find a hint of this direction reading some of the recent posts published. I am referring to the post on a Danish commercial, and the post on Canon and their black dots.
4. Last, but not least, I will continue using photographs to illustrate.
What you will see in 2009, then, is a mix of the above mentioned with eyes wide open particularly towards what I call real life communication. As a consequence you will see more of the newly introduced theme Barebones Orchid Scale (BOS).
I have to admit that I had no clear idea of this from the beginning.
I have thousands of pictures and I have hundreds of books. So, my idea was initially to use both sources in combination on this blog.I started using pictures, because I thought they would brighten, and break up the blog a bit, and maybe, in some cases, make good illustrations for the verbal points made in the individual posts. Particularly in illustrating some of the gestalt factors the pictures came in handy, since some of them seemed to have been shot for the particular blog post.
Not so. The pictures you find on the blog are in some cases taken many years before a blog on barebones communication came to my mind about a year ago. My favourite post, in this respect, is the one on gestalt direction. Go look it up. The post “Wertheimer would have loved it”. This post, by the way, is one of the posts with the most hits. So, I must have done something right.
As I am the photographer of all the pictures posted, so far, I don’t have to worry about copyrights, since I hold copyrights to all the pictures. It makes life much easier that way, since I am allowed to quote from texts, but I am not allowed to quote from visual material in the same way. I can’t just post somebody else’s pictures.
However, lately, the thought grew on me that maybe my pictures had another role to play, as well. You are probably aware that, for instance, Roland Barthes have written with passion about photography. I am referring to his last book: La Chambre Claire, first published in France in 1980, the year of his untimely death.
I will return to that book in later post, since I fully agree with those stating that this book is one of the most important statements ever made on photography.
But what is more, it constitutes a cross section between semiology and phenomenology (Barthes explicitly refers to Edmund Hussels. Barthes states on page 20 in my copy of the English translation: Camera Lucida, that “In this investigation of Photography, I borrowed something from phenomenology’s project and something from its language”.
Barthes is talking about Edmund Husserl as his inpiration.
There is, however, even a much more important issue at stake here. You know that the phenomenological method includes a “freezing”, a “bracketing” of the natural attitude to be able to describe, and to study it more closely. Maybe you also are aware that one of the key methodological notions within phenomenology is the notion “perspective”.
Question: What is it I do, what is it that every photographer does, when taking or shooting pictures? Answer: Could be phrased this way: I/they/we, as photographers, freeze parts of the world from a certain perspective. That is the very nature of photography.
So, the cross over from photography to phenomenology, is rather obvious to make.
As the blog progressed, it slowly dawned on me, that here is a story that never has been told. I will try to tell it, bit by bit, as the blog unfolds. That was the general idea, anyway.
Think about this idea, and take a look at the picture submitted below: A moment, frozen in time, from a certain perspective. Phenomenological investigation illustrated. Photography on phenomenology. Feel free to re-read the posts on the phenomenological method already posted.
Gassin, France, 2002.
All the best to you as well
For more posts on Barthes on this blog, go here, or use the tag cloud for navigation.
Obscurity is not a world unknown to Barthes. Or to his readers or his critics.
Particularly if you want to venture into his world of photography. Barthes is famous for his article on the Third Meaning, that he wrote for the French periodical Cahiers du Cinéma in 1970. Here he introduces the notion of the obtuse meaning of an image. Some would rather call this the obscure meaning of an image (I will handle this issue in a separate post).
I have to admit though, that already in 1961 when introducing his fifth connotation of aestheticism obscurity is present. To me it is, anyway.
Barthes states: “when photography turns painting, composition or visual substance treated with deliberation in its very material “texture”, it is either so as to signify itself as “art” (which was the case with the “pictorialism” of the beginning of the century) or to impose a general more subtle and complex signifier than would be possible with other connotation procedures”.
I’m am not sure what Barthes means with “a general more subtle and complex signifier”. So I am not in a position to be very helpful here. Sorry about that, but I urge you to pick up Barthes’ text directly, and tell me what this is all about. I will be more than happy to be educated here . How his connotation procedure of aestheticism can act as a mean of laying content into an photography, obscures me. Simple as that.
Here is an example of what I would call aestheticism in Barthes’ meaning “photography turns painting”. Or at least such a trial. This image, that is shot in Barthes’ own country, France, are overly saturated and filtered to make it look more like a painting than a photography.
Library Thing. (Roland Barthes: Image, Music, Text, pages 15-31, Fontana Press 1977, UK. Essays selected and translated by Stephen Heath).
Buy the English translation of Barthes’ work. Follow the link and support the site: