Stewed Bark Of An Old Oak Tree

Life & Photos. Sometimes NSFW.

Steven Beckly

Extra Credit Blog Questions

  • I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, and I’m comfortable saying it’s a passion of mine. I tend to take photos of bands very often, because it’s a massive interest of mine, and the more i take photos and the more i explore photography as a whole, my love for it grows. It’s challenging, but then again, what isn’t? I’ve learned that If there’s something you truly love, then it’s not going to be impossible to jump over the little challenges that life will throw your way. I’ve never been really great at it, and I’ve always envied my friends who seem to effortlessly take brilliant photos, but  I’ve learned to appreciate what I can do, it’s a learning process and with each day and each new photograph, you gain something new and you get better. This class has helped me quite a bit, and I’ve failed to give it credit for that. I’ve been a little more willing and open to taking camera with me everywhere I go, exploring things that I would have probably missed. My eye has become sharper and curious, and I find myself constantly searching for the beautiful things that exist in everyday life; it’s spectacular and I owe that to what I’ve learned from this class. The projects and assignments we had might seem dismissible to some, but I know they were assigned for a reason – as a way to indulge our innate curiosity, and that’s pretty neat!
  • My ideas about photography, art and visual information have definitely changed over the semester – actually, I would step back from saying they’ve changed, I’d say they’ve grown. I love photographs and visual information, and I’ve always had positive ideas about it, and I’m well aware of their strength, but this class definitely helped further these ideas.
  • So much worked really well. Obviously, kinks and errors are bound to happen, that’s life; but besides that, I think the assigned projects, the assesiblity of our instructors and the tools provided worked really well. I really enjoyed the 838 assignment – it was new to me, and a challenge that i really enjoyed.
  • In terms things that could be improved – a good system of submitting assignments, haha. That seemed to be the main issue we faced. I also noticed that a lot of students weren’t really happy about blogging. So, perhaps using another blogging platform. I think Tumblr would be ideal – it’s easy to use, and it encourages a sense of community which in turn leads to more blog posts.
  • <– Still waiting for the essay questions to be posted –>
  • I loved this class, I thought It was really great. It’s encouraged me to take more photography classes, and I’m happy about it! Thanks for a great semester, Betsy & Lara! Follow my other blog!

Mitch Epstein

Brecht Vandenbroucke

#15 Questions

  • I was pretty bummed out because I couldn’t show my original idea for my family photo project. I had to use a last minute backup. I grew up in Nigeria and so did my parents – the culture is incredibly different, especially when it comes to family and “elders”. I notice these key differences everyday, and through our old family photographs – I planned on showing these varying differences in cultures. The way we were raised, the way we celebrated birthdays, christmas, outings – all that fun stuff, I wanted to show how different can be, but as humans, we’re not drastically different. We tend to cherish similar things, albeit in different ways. I would have really loved to show, but unfortunately I didn’t receive the photos on time. It’s something I’d still love to do in the future.

Chad Moore

Why Is Art So Damned Expensive?

“If I can’t sell something, I just double the price.” That’s what Ernst Beyeler, the great Swiss dealer who helped found Art Basel, reportedly said. Some people actually prefer to pay more than makes sense. Zelizer explains that, in all walks of life, we treat the biggest sums -differently, with special respect or even awe, than more-everyday money. “I think very often the price paid for a work is the trophy itself,” says Glimcher, the dealer.

In 2006, the crowds lining up to see a portrait by Gustav Klimt in the private Neue Galerie in New York weren’t there out of any fondness for the artist. They were there because they’d heard that the museum’s founder, cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder, had paid a record $135 million for it.

The sociologist Mitch Abolafia, who has made a study of Wall Street financiers, says that sometimes money speaks for itself. “A trader said to me one day, with glee in his eyes, ‘You can’t see it, but money is everywhere in this room. Money is flying around—millions and millions of dollars.’ It was a generalized excitement about money. Even I felt it.” That’s the excitement we all get from expensive art. One collector, who believes deeply that art should be bought for art’s sake, acknowledges basking in the “robust glow of prosperity” that his purchases give off once their value has soared.

The people who are spending record amounts on art buy more than just that glow. (And much more than the pleasure of contemplating pictures, which they could get for $20 at any museum.) They’ve purchased boasting rights. “It’s, ‘You bought the $100 million Picasso?!,’” says Glimcher. Abolafia explains that his financiers were “shameless” in declaring the price of their toys, because in their world, what you buy is less about the object than the cash you threw at it. The uselessness of art makes any spending on it especially potent: buying a yacht is a tiny bit like buying a rowboat, and so retains a taint of practicality, but buying a great Picasso is like no other spending. Olav Velthuis, a Dutch sociologist who wrote Talking Prices, the best study of what art spending means, compares the top of the art market to the potlatches performed by the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, where the goal was to ostentatiously give away, even destroy, as much of your wealth as possible—to show that you could. In the art-market equivalent, he says, prices keep mounting as collectors compete for this “super-status effect.”

(Source: youmightfindyourself)

Katarina Velika

#14 Questions

  • Group 1: Colin’s photos were pretty great. He showed the idea that friends can in fact become family. He used facebook as his primary source because it’s become a medium for sharing photography.
  • Group 2: Nicole’s idea was pretty neat. Pretty much creating a collage of images in the form of her grandparents. It was pretty unique and attempted to illustrate how her family wouldn’t have existed without them.
  • Group 3: Kelly plans on manipulating an actual, already-existing book. She attempts to explore the idea of goodbyes and distance.
  • Group 4: Stephanie made a pretty sweet book of photos that her parents took. It was great and gave us an idea of her family.
  • Group 5: Ashley presentation dealt with a pretty dark subject matters – abuse at home. Using holiday greeting cards, she attempted to show how they mask the true nature of domestic abuse.
  • Group 6: Garrett used google street view to find “families” or interactions that could signify or highlight the idea of a family. It was a pretty neat idea.
  • Group 8:  Anthony’s project was cool and I could relate to it – seeing as I also don’t live close to my family and I don’t get to see them often. He took photos of various things around his house – things that were group to show that a family is made up of more than one person, or in this case “component”.
  • Group 9: Meredith has the most ambitious and creative project, in my opinion. She took 3 photographs of her family and created plaster pillows for them – in greyscale. It was really great to see. Kudos to her.
  • Group 10: Janelle made an amazing, humorous scrapbook of her “dysfunctional family” – it was kind of a guide on how to survive dealing with an unconventional family. It was cute.
  • Group 11: Christine’s photos were really cute as well. They showed family photographs during halloween. It was a delight to see.
  • Garrett definitely had the most accomplished project – he took the time to search out these images from around the world, on google. Although the idea was far from unique – i believe we discussed a photographer who did something similar – it was however, well put together.

Hervé Sévéno