Friday, June 11, 2010

Remediation Efforts Continue...

In the beginning, there was representational drawing:

Cave painting, Lascaux, France, circa 15,000 to 10,000 BC

Eventually we invented a machine to help record reality. Many people thought of this as cheating, and photography struggled to gain respectability. Still, no one could deny it required great craft and effort.

Eadweard Muybridge,Thoroughbred bay mare "Annie G." galloping, Human and Animal Locomotion, plate 626, 1887

Then people figured out that it was the idea that counted. As long as you came up with a concept you could hire out the nuts and bolts of actually producing a photograph, yet still call the final product your own.

Untitled, Birds Around Home, 1997, Gregory Crewdson

But if it's the idea that counts, why even bother making a photo? Why not take someone else's ready made photo and call it your own?

Untitled (cowboy), 1989, Richard Prince

Some people felt this was bad for photography, that it was dragging the whole thing back into the sewer.

Fountain, Marcel Duchamp, 1917

Nevertheless the practice continued. People appropriated all sorts of imagery as their own, sometimes barely changing the original except for the addition of a signature and six-digit price tag.

Andreas Gursky, 2010

Then someone decided it wasn't the idea that counted. It was the idea of the idea. Instead of appropriating existing imagery, the thing to do was appropriate the appropriation.

Detail, Untitled (300 x 404), 2009, Greg Allen

Where was all this leading? The next step was clear.

Appropriated Detail, 2010, Blake Andrews

From there it was quickly down the rabbit hole.

Detail of Detail, 2010, Blake Andrews

Detail of Detailed Detail, 2010, Blake Andrews

Sheer Nihilism, 2010, Blake Andrews

We'd like to climb out of the hole.

There must be a way.

But this particular cave is proving hard to escape.


Chris said...

I like the last picture. Did you use a Photoshop plugin for that effect?

BryanF said...


wolf said...

that pixel's worth a cool million...

J. Wesley Brown said...


Didn't Yves Klein sign the sky in the 40's?

Blake Andrews said...

I made the photo using a plug in called Cave Painting. It's for sale at $5/pixel.