New age for arts | AspenTimes.com

New age for arts

Dear Editor:

Hilary Stunda managed a recent Woody Creek Community Center panel discussion titled “Digital Imagery – Revolution or Evolution?” Andrea Wallace (new digital media/photography program director at Anderson Ranch), David Amirault “DigiDave” (social media head at Aspen Skiing Co.), Tony Prikryl (head of Digital Art Aspen Printing) and Burnie Arndt (photographer and artist) moderated.

Also, the audience of roughly 30 individuals comprised a who’s who of photography and the arts from the valley.

Millions of images are uploaded to social media daily in concert with evolving concepts. The panel brought together an Aspen think-tank-like discussion on aesthetics, art, media and technology now transforming an area of visual data that has yet to crystallize into a distinct entity.

As new digital media/photography program director at Anderson Ranch, Andrea Wallace’s title best defines the entity discussed.

Perhaps not discussed was the difference between accurate photojournalism (such as moving photos from the Vietnam era), as well as the need for accuracy in science and medical imaging, and that which is art. I believe John Gossage (a famous American film photographic artist who did not attend the gathering) best described the difference in a workshop at Anderson Ranch several years ago. His opinion was that at the end of the week the amazing accurate (still-life image) photo in a periodical gets tossed into the recycle bin; whereas perhaps manipulated or non-manipulated digital or film images become art when placed on a wall in a home or museum and are admired and inspiring for years.

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Beyond the technical aspects of modern photography is a realm that remains amorphous and is pervasive in the art world. The Latin phrase “De gustibus non disputandum est” means that in matters of taste, there is no dispute. This is an aphorism that is offset by who curates and decides what makes for great art and that which has monetary value.

I opine the art world is indiscernible, and it is that illusive characteristic that may well be that which captures the imaginations and emotions of cultures and civilizations for centuries.

E.R. Morrow said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a word is worth a thousand images. Perhaps shifting to a new perspective, it is this new generation of technology where an image, art and aesthetics live in a world that is actually “beyond words.”

Steve Lewis

Basalt