Photo and Video: “Deconstruction” as a strategy for the transformation of trades
An article by: Ariel Garcia -Professional Videographer from his series of articles: “The Philosophy of Social Video”.
Translated from the spanish language.
While we talking about the evolution of our activities, a photographer friend confessed to me, that he was depressed by the certainty that his profession “was mortally wounded”.” And not only mine,” he went on, “yours as well, Ariel.
He was referring to the progression of technology which, in addition to other things, had equipped people with a camera in their pocket. He understood that between the product and the client he had to mediate a “waiting period” and without this lapse, fundamental for “social” video and photography, a certain charm which could only mature with the passing of each day, is extinguished. Quite dazed, he mentioned that the “waiting period” was nowadays saturated with the mediocre images that guests took with their phones, insignificant shots that, according to his thoughts, were a kind of “caricature” of the good product which any suitable photographer would deliver.
I don’t think he was right about everything, I believe his vision of things to be too severe and narrow. Although it’s true, yes, we have lost centrality and in doing so an “exclusive” way of order in the reality of the image. The sense or meanings which videographers and photographers indicated or imposed as correct have now been “off-centered”.
If anything has died, in relation to our profession, it’s the way of thinking of it; for this reason, I believe that we are going through a good historical moment to be able to test its deconstruction. It is important to make clear that “deconstructing” is not “destroying”, at least in the thought of Jacques Derrida, a philosopher who deepened the idea and theorized its exercise. Deconstruction is not a method but a strategy that takes the path of showing why concepts, institutions (and also trades such as video and social photography) have been building themselves to the point of becoming unquestionable. Initiating a deconstructive critique does not mean rejecting the activity or ceasing to exercise it but (to take advantage of a term used by Derrida) to de-sediment it, to restore its capacity for resignification and self-criticism.
Progress towards the deconstruction of our professions would engage, at some point, the concept of “art”, which we often implicate in the process of realization. We could begin by contrasting it, for example, with the idea of the Mexican painter Luis Argudín: “Technique in art has a different meaning to that given in other trades. It does not construct as a trade, from given guidelines; it creates “with” and sometimes “against” the trade, on nothingness, without pre-established rules. ” To continue on with this thought, rather a closed and perhaps one in decline, which puts the fate of “social” video and photography only in the hands of “professionals”. Meanwhile, as we dismantle some entrenched concepts and artistic presumptions, a question may arise: is the continuity of our profession in danger, as stable occupations in exchange for a salary?
Currently, photographers and videographers intervene only in some of the different aspects of expressing the image, not “the only”, “not the best”, and our studies are no longer the seat of the sacred place. Photography and video, as never before due to its ease of realization, repercussion, speed and massive impact, have become semiotic instruments in the hands of powerful citizens. Photography and video, as channels (ideological or not) consolidated, are able to transfer almost immediately simple protests, serious reproaches, harsh requests or disconnected pieces of socially shared beliefs. Much of that “power”, which in our hands is or has been mainly commercial work, has germinated among the fingers of the public to become snobbery and trivalty, yes, but also struggle and revolution.
Since the deconstruction of our trades would not be possible from the outside, there is no other way to start than from within. I understand that “inside or within” becomes a difficult universe to encompass, so I will begin by dedicating this article to “historical” photographers and videographers, who were sometimes burdened, sometimes conservative but strongly positioned, and to the younger, energetic who are proud of their mobile offices out in the nowhere. As well as to the “old”, who reproach for the lost spaces, suggesting or proceeding with caution, and to the “kids”, accepting criticism or throwing it away, thinking, luckily, that they can do better.
Ariel García is a professional filmmaker who resides in Argentina.
http://puntomagazine.net/photo-and-video-deconstruction-as-a-strategy-for-the-transformation-of-trades/Articulosediting,photography articles,video,videographer articles,Videographer interviews,Videographers,videographyAn article by: Ariel Garcia -Professional Videographer from his series of articles: 'The Philosophy of Social Video'. Translated from the spanish language. While we talking about the evolution of our activities, a photographer friend confessed to me, that he was depressed by the certainty that his profession 'was mortally wounded'.' And not...Punto Magazine firstname.lastname@example.orgEditorPunto Magazine