Blog #1

Crary believed that a vision or subject was totally dependent on the  observer.  The visual “materialized” in the eyes of the observer.   However the factors that affected the observer had an influence on the  ultimate visual.  That is where the shift occurs in the 19th century to  to technological advancement.  Devices like the camera obscura and the  stereoscope changed the ways in which the observer interpreted the  visual.  He described these devices as “points of intersection where  philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic  discourses overlap with  mechanical techniques, institutional  requirements, and socioeconomic  forces” (8).  The previous practices of observation are now applied  through a more advanced translation or medium of the visual.  However in  the case of the camera obscura the observations were more objective,  based on facts requiring less use of the cognitive.  The stereoscope on  the contrary was a subjective device where the observers mind plays a  key role in the ultimate depiction.  In the case of the stereoscope the  ultimate truth of the visual may vary from observer to observer.  In the  case of Turner, he broke from the trend of clear lines and crisp,  precise strokes and substituted this for a more abstract  interpretation.  Instead of painting an image that would mimic the works  of the camera obscura, Turner painted from his own subjective point of  view.  He painted to his best ability what his eye saw.  Not what was  captured by the camera obscura, and in modern times not what was  captured on someone’s digital camera.  He painted what  the eye saw.  Had the wind blown another way the  Snowstorm painting may have take a completely different twist.  As an  observer of his painting my eye may interpret this in a much different  way then the next person.  This “modern” form of art was the subject of  much ridicule only because the majority were not prepared to observe on  such a cognitive level.

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