Photography

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?

The Space Between

I think all of you know what ‘yes’ means. And if you know its meaning, obviously know the meaning of ‘no’. ‘Yes’ is yes, and not ‘no’, and viceversa. So easy to understand, and to use: are you hungry? Yes, mom, I am. You’ve been at the opera? No, I was not at the opera. So simple.

But what if you were in the building of the Opera but actually you did not watch the show. So, you were at the opera? And here raises the context: ‘yes’, for the building, ‘no’ for the show. And the meaning of yes or no loses its substance. I just really don’t know.

just the same thing happens with the ‘nothing’ and ‘something’. There is a thin line between these. There is white, and after that it cames a sharp limit where black starts? Or this limit could be magnified, and it turns to be some thing. A twilight zone. A grey. A territory that nobody wants to see? And how this limit, this transition looks like?

Now imagine a hill. That hill is covered with rapeseed. This hill, form a distance of 10 km looks like a yellow patch delimited clearly from the sky’s blue with a sharp line. Step closer. Is that clear line remains clear? And when you are in the rapeseed field? Right in the middle? How does it look like? Yes, I tell you what: is more green, than yellow. This is the surface of something. Appearance, that we translate instantly in terms, in notions, indicated by words.

Whether it worth to ask what is the situation with the light and shadow? I let you guess…

We people, determined by our notions, words a.s.o, we like to see things as absolute. Nevertheless there is no absolute. Or wait: it exists. Pick an option, pick an answer, and spread it like the absolute, the ultimate truth. And if you preach it well and consequently, and loud enough many times, your truth will be others’ truth as well.

Most of thing works on black and white. But what happens when you take a closer look to the edges? There is always a moment in life, when you really don’t know the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’. Maybe. ‘Maybe’. Yet, another word, which we seems to know well. So, If ‘yes’ is white and ‘no’ is black, maybe is the whole range of gray. And if black and white are only abstractions, greys really exist.

But we may ask ourselves: greys really exist?

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.

State of Mind: Dementia

Have you ever thought how it would be a dementia? Could we  judge it? If yes: how? And ‘judgment’ would be a proper term to describe the state of dementia? Or dementia is another dimension of human existence, and in common, everyday terms we can not talk about it? Wikipedia saysDementia (taken from Latin, originally meaning “madness”, from de- “without” + ment, the root of mens “mind”) is a serious loss of global cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person. It says nothing about perception. Whether dementia affects the perception, too, or just the cognition ceases to exist? Or the cognition persists, perception too, but their connection carry us in other dimensions? What if dementia is a step beyond average human existence and a step towards the ultimate truth? Anyhow: talking, feeling, experiencing the pure perception we have to undress our cognitive self. Get blurred, and step beyond the mind’s game: feel lost in your eyes.

Got frightened, that maybe dementia is not so bad, as we think?

Enjoy.

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?

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.