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Solipsism

©2014 Makkai Bence

Solipsism

There is a place. The best, the greatest, the most intimate place on Earth. Or even in the Universe. Do you know where it could be? Everyone has one. And all places are just the same, and just different. It’s the place where we refuge in case of. It could be as a real place as well as a spiritual one. Maybe this place is between pages 158 and 159. Or between two notes of a symphony. It physical or psychical instance could be various, but the main characteristics remain the same: it protects us, we got some refill in it. Is the place, where you find yourself, where you become yourself and one again. Is the place, where everything that surrounds you disappear. You know that place, don’t you? It takes care of you, it spoils you, keeps you warm in cold and refreshes you in heat.

But what if this places is not the only one thing that is only yours? What if that all problems, discomforts, people, places a.s.o. what you try to heal inhere are only your grey matter’s product? What if beyond this place nothing exists? Just you and your brain. Or your soul. Solipsism.

There is a place where you find yourself. But is there a place?

Or only your grey matter plays a kinky game with you?

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This is a Hoax

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The Wikipedia says:

„The British philologist Robert Nares (1753–1829) says that the word hoax was coined in the late 18th century as a contraction of the verbhocus, which means “to cheat”,[3] “to impose upon”[3] or “to befuddle often with drugged liquor”.[4] Hocus is a shortening of the magicincantation hocus pocus,[4] which in turn is a contraction of the phrase Hocus pocus, tontus talontus, vade celeriter jubeo, mentioned inThomas Ady‘s 1656 book A candle in the dark, or a treatise on the nature of witches and witchcraft.[5] “

and

„A hoax differs from a magic trick or from fiction (books, moviestheatreradiotelevision, etc.) in that the audience is unaware of being deceived, whereas in watching a magician perform an illusion the audience expects to be tricked.“

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoax

 

Let’s celebrate the truth, and nothing but the truth.

uncomposed

Composition. Is it really exists? Ten rules of, 5 rules of, golden section et cetera… Yeah, I’m sick of it: pleasant to your eyes, to your soul, blah-blah-blah…

This is like saying: this is not a home, this is only an apartment. Who says? Who are you to judge my home? On what basis you judge my apartment being not a home? ‘Cause you would not live in it? Or you can not imagine yourself living in it? Picture this again: stay around a bit, know me, feed the fishes, sprinkle the flowers, wash the dishes. Feed yourself, but not necessarily with food. Maybe with something spiritual. A book, maybe. Stay. Maybe you didn’t stay enough. Maybe this is the place where you will be the most beloved person in this world. And maybe is not yours, but definitely mine. And I feel cozy with it. Nay, I love it. To live it. In it. So what’s your problem?

Compose your image. Shoot your picture. Nevermind the composition. Feel the spirit swelling in you. Show this to the world. Shout it out loud. This is my picture. This is my soul.

And last but not least: be proud of it.

It’s you. Nothing but you.

The Untaken Photograph

There are moment that are expressive by themselves. In other photos we are tackled by its atmosphere, or an emotion captured int the frame. We could love a photo because its pleasant or unpleasant nature generates strong memories in us. Or just like that: it’s funny. And there are the photoreportages.

Recently I visited the Robert Capa exhibition in Budapest. I took my time and I take a long tour of the rooms, to enjoy his work. Actually only two or three photos captured my mind or my soul. I don’t know if the problem is with me or with the photography style he founded, but almost none of his photograph did not work out for me without the captions. I became dejected.

Then I googled another famous report-photograph: Kevin Carter’s starving Sudanese girl with a vulture in the background. I hardly know Kevin Carter’s photographic work, but this photo meant much more to me than the entire Capa exhibition. And the photograph was without a caption.

And then it occurs me the question, leaving aside the ethical problems of this issue: is photojournalism, generally speaking, respect for the exceptions, readable without caption? In the early nineties one of the World Press winner photo was a grieving soldier in a helicopter. (David Turnley, American Soldier Grieving for Comrade, Iraq, 1991). In an article is stated: He [David Turnley] believes it has provoked such a strong reaction, and for many people has become symbolic of the war itself, because of its raw emotional power. ‘It is an unbelievably intimate photo,’ he has said. ‘It reveals the vulnerability of otherwise strong men.’ Why? Is that preconception, that men, even strong men don’t cry is such a novelty for you? Even in the early nineties?

Maybe I’m cynical: but this photo of David Turnley, (and the endless series of war photographs) beyond that it presents strong emotions of a situation we are not quite familiar with, I don’t believe it provides something new to photography. Unless you read the caption. And there is a lot of picture like this, that floods the world: a commonplaces that terrifies us. With or without caption. And if there is no caption hooked along the picture, in no time we scroll forward. I can hear the dialogue between the spouse: “– What are you watching at? – Oh, dear, they are killing each other again. Jenny, please bring me a cup of fresh coffee.” Photojournalism and the flood of the photographs depicting the horrors of war is a fabrication of all time mass-media. No photography. Just using, photography. Abusing phtography to cultivate more money.

And then, in an inspired moment, I turned the question: would it work an untaken photograph with a well-composed caption? It’s a very common situation, that talkative pictures come along with “No comment. But what if we turn the situation: No image. Just caption. And imagine yourself: what’s that picture all about…

Issues of ethics on photojournalism could be read here

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2011/04/07/is-this-photo-ethical/

http://prisonphotography.org/2010/01/27/fabienne-cherisma/

Note: Even thought th illustration of this post have fictious captions, they could be for real.

By the lake

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It’s spring. You are standing by the lake and all melted. Melted the ice and the snow. Melted the poplars, the creek, the sky. They all spilled, maybe into water. You are standing by the lake, standing on the hills melted into nothingness. An unspecified nothing.

It’s summer. You are standing by the lake and all burned out. Burned out the grass, the road. Burned out the misty dawns, the arid steppes, the days and the nights, and the minutes and the moments. They all burned out, maybe into fire. You are standing by the lake along the road that burned into nowhere.

It’s autumn. You are standing by the lake and all rotted away. Rotted away the fruits, the harvest. Rotted away the colors. Rotted away the rhythm, the melody, the repetition. They all rotted away, maybe into earth. You are standing by the lake on a gossamer rotted away into nothingness.

It’s winter. You are standing by the lake and everything has frozen. Frozen the lake, the reed, the electric wires. Frozen the light and frozen the sound. They all froze, maybe into air. You are standing by the lake in the light frozen into nothingness.

There is? Listen to the shed in autumn aspen leaves rustle, or the ripple on the water under the ice. Curves of the hills repose your eyes, grass could fit your hand. Fog shelters your steps, nights fulfill your days. But there is no lake nor reeds. Neither do aspens. No images on the eye, no sound in the ear. If there would be light, you may say that it’s all white. Or all black. And silence. But there is no silence, neither, it also froze. Lightless, shadowless. Soundless and silentless: the middle of nowhere. An unspecified nothing.

Imagine that there is not. Would grow you a voice. Would you increase you a sound, a taste. A taste, a touch. A touch, a shadow. Would grow you a hope.

——————————————————————–

Imagine that there is.

Buy me. Buy me with a shadow.

About the Parallels – Hommage a Bolyai

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When János Bolyai, the greatest hungarian mathematician, created the basis of the hyperbolic geometry, in a letter adrressed to his father, Farkas Bolyai, wrote the followings:
[I had] created a new, another world out of nothing

András Prékopa, full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences states in an article:
„Euclid’s axioms were born just the sake of order, to find a clear way in the chaos of concepts and statements and clarify what is evident and what needs to be proven.“ Euclid’s  geometry was a system that functioned. And still functions. In our terrestrial scale. But if you want to go beyond a point, this system does not work anymore. You can not find new paths walking along the highway.

What was Bolyai’s excellence? He broke with the previosly known paradigm: most mathematicians tried to prove the verity or falsity of the fifth postulate. As long as all mathematicians failed to prove the verity of the fifth postulate Bolyai omitted it and expanded it in a very special way  – and created a new geometry, suitable to explore non-terrestrial scaled spaces. But I don’t want to start a mathematical issue here  – the aim of this post concernes photography. The point is to think. And rethink.

Obviously: every system, based on a set of rules function under specific circumstances. Systems are created to achive goals. Goals have needs on basis. And the system helps us to to reach our goals, satisfy our needs. Once any kind of need is expressed we can build a system to satisfy these needs, and to facilitate achieving our goals – but in those given circumstances. But what is the circumstances change? What if the needs change? Yes, we need a new system. And the task is: find that specific rule, that part of the mechanism that does not function, replace it, or, as Bolyai did, omit it. The result? It could be a new, another world out of nothing.

Wheter all circumstances of photography, every non-dynamic form of visual expression has been isnpected? All its rules are indispensable? Is today digital revolution means the end of image-writers’ era? There could be new forms of expression insisting on the existing set of rules? Is every rule of this system necessary to complete todays photography challenge? Btw: everyone in the occidental culture has at least a pen, a sheet of paper or a computer with text writing software on it, but not all of them are novelists or poets…

Humans, in order to function as humans, need an order, a system. But is this system vital for perception? In our special case: perception of art? Can perception function without any preconceived order or system? And this preconceived perception can be used, or can be useful for us in art or photography? Is ‘useful’ an appropiate, reasonable term accomodating the artistic experience? Does the world may exists only by perception without any explanation, translation of it? And we can enjoy only perception – without interpreting it by the filter of our intellect? Does orderless, intellectless perception means chaos? Or anything, that does not fit our reason is tagged as ‘chaos’? If so, can we explore the outer spaces?

The 2 Seconds Decision

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This photograph is a “product” of my second decision. It’s a result of a polemics with a photography fellow. (Otherwise he really takes breathtaking landscape photos which I am invidious for.) Subject? Emotion? Truth? It does not transimt any of them. Maybe in traces you’ll find some kind of subject, but this is really nothing special. No documentary value. No war brutailites. No sorrow. No maltrated kids, no drugjunkies, no social inequality. Not even a person in the frame. And no beautiful landscape either. It does not fit with any up-do-date and popular or mainstream photography trends. It’s not even underground, grunge, minimal, abstract and so on. Not even rural. It’s a kind of nothing. A boring walnut-tree with a pole in front of some plain hills.

My photography fellow is a perfectionist: the smallest divagation from the rules spoils the entire experience of an excellent photography. Yes, indeed: if you search for perfection in photography, if you try to measure it with objective and unquestionable, almost axiomatical rules of photography, a small inaccuracy could be fatal. But what if we don’t take those rules as the Holy Bible. Maybe those rules were created by people who are not perfect. Or whom can make mistakes and erroneus statements. Or, it’ OK with you, that this pole and this bole of a walnut tree could be everything for me, the most valuable thing in the world? Does the photograph really needs a caption, or a short essay like this, to understand, to feel or to be part of an artistic experience?

Finally let’s admit: this photographs is nothing indeed. If you tend to make a 2 seconds decision. Among the myriad of ilusive, eye-candy photographs and visual trash that we face day by day, it’s another dozenframe of a self-proclaimed artist.

But what if you would have more than 2 seconds to immerse yourself in an unfamiliar artistic experience?

Focus

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What is focus?

The Free Dictionary says:

1. A point at which rays of light or other radiation converge or from which they appear to diverge, as after refraction or reflection in an optical system

or:

2. A center of interest or activity.

Is it clear enough? It’s a definition, and so it puts the point on comprehention. And definitions always work. Our intellect search always for comprehensive, clear, well-focused definitions and meanings. We always search for centers, converging lines a.s.o. We do not understand explanations or other things that don’t meet this requirement. And we flee from the “dark” side. But isn’ dark side part of our being?

Every definition of the term above correlates with a point. But the point truly exists? What if, just as numbers, is a pure fiction without any consistency? And this pure fictious element defines Photography entirely? What if  a line (mathematical abstraction, too) is used instead of a point to define this art major constituent? Or why not: a mathematical plane. Or the whole space? Or lines coud converge only to a single point to be understood, unless its pointless? Strange ethimology: pointless.

In other hand: focus does not eliminate converging lines. They exist without the final point. But the lines are still in move, approaching their goal. They are on their way to reach something. They just did not find yet their meeting point. And so it’s not finished: And because it’s not finished it’s pointless. Strange syllogism, too.

Is focus elementary to photography? Why don’t we suspend this single point? Why don’t we better define a plenty of points, moving or staying of their own wills or own rules, and let’s free our lines? I think we should not constrain everything toward focus. We have a peripherical seeing, too, that is not in focus, but we still use it. So, out of focus it has no point? We don’t see it, it does not exist?

Does not have a sharp focus? Maybe you are not there, yet. But keep moving, ride the lines, and you will arrive somewhere you should never imagine.

8-1

8 poles

We live in a perpetual myth of figures. Yes, we always count. And we count anything. And we create toplists. The 10 best, or worst things in life. Even truth we transform in figures. One is truth. Null is lie.

We transfigure everything in dumb-downed stats. And sociologists are nowadays wizards, interpreting these numbers back telling what they have transformed in figures. And we believe them, because we’ve been taught that 10 is obviously higher than 9. But is 10 really more than 9? We have achievements, results. And we measure them in these easily acceptable entities. Figures don’t have feelings; they don’t mean anything at all. Figures are the most abstract concept of all.

But we also have a life. He lived 89 years, they say. Did his most powerful memory has a figure attached to? Has someone the power to transfigure single emotions, not to mention love. Quality over quantity, they say. But how do you measure quality? Yes, you suppose it well: it lasts longer. It keeps you warmer. It rolls faster. It consumes less. Why don’t we talk only mathematics or statistics. I say 9. You say 10, so you are the winner. Generally speaking: the higher is the figure the better is the quality. Time is passing by, seconds after seconds, and we count and count.

But where are the non-measurable things? Thoughts? Feelings? Endless moments of fear, happiness or joy? Or aesthetical experiences? I wittingly used negative definition for this: non-figurative. Non-measurable. Because if we don’t find a definition of something we have never met, we define it by its antonym. And the circle, apparently is closed.

The image above has 8 poles. This sentence’s truthcontent, looking at the photograph seems to be 1. 8-1. But are these figures really essential when you face an artwork? Or other part of our lives? Is everything transfigurable? Can the figures be retransfigured? Can we disregard, are we able to disregard figures?

Now disregard all the theory above. Just sit down in a place, where are poles. There could be 8 if you’d like. Or more. Or less. Or even without any pole. Count to 10, and start enjoy the sight.

Or just stay. Countless.

Define nothing

Define Nothing

Just suspend your actual concepts and start another paradigma.

Why is there something rather than nothing?

Well, why not? Why expect nothing rather than something? No experiment could support the hypothesis ‘There is nothing’ because any observation obviously implies the existence of an observer.
Source: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/

What is Nothing, anyway?

It’s not anything, and it’s not something, yet it isn’t the negation of something, either. Traditional logic is no help, since it merely regards all negation as derivative from something positive. So, Heidegger proposed, we must abandon logic in order to explore the character of Nothing as the background out of which everything emerges.

Source: http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/7b.htm#nothing/

What is no-thing?

Our first approach to this question already shows us something unusual about it. From the outset in asking this question we posit no-thing as something that “is” such and such, as be-ing. But plainly it has in fact been distinguished from just that. The question about no-thing—what and how it, no-thing, is—turns what is being questioned into its opposite. The question robs itself of its own object.
Accordingly, every answer to this question is impossible from the outset. For it necessarily starts out in the form: no-thing “is” this or that. Question and answer alike are themselves just as nonsensical with respect to no-thing.
(Martin Heidegger: What Is Metaphysics)

Source: http://wagner.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/psychology/files/2013/01/Heidegger-What-Is-Metaphysics-Translation-GROTH.pdf – p.38