A Kind of Radiance

More from The Cruel Radiance:

In 1986, the critic Andy Grundberg observed that postmodern photography "implies the exhaustion of the image universe: it suggests that a photographer can find more than enough images already existing in the world without the bother of making new ones."

Perhaps telling is that a list of Grundberg's articles for the New York Times is dominated less by art criticism and more by obituaries: Irving Penn, Julius Schulmann, Arnold Newman, Gordon Parks, Avedon, Ellen Auerbach, Carl Mydans, Eddie Adams.

Which brings us to his difficulties with the very much living Robert Bergman (PDF):

2 min read

The Subject

Last night I grabbed the growing stack of unopened issues of Aperture off the living room magazine rack and started in at them. On top was the current issue, which contained an except from Susie Linfield's The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence. I'll excerpt from their excerption:

This is a book of criticism, not theory [...] It is written, in large part, against the photography criticism of Susan Sontag. [...] who was responsible for establishing a tone of suspicion and distrust in photographic criticism, and for teaching us that to be smart about photographs means to disparage them.

Another, longer except can be found here.

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JokerPaint

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Speaking of painting and computers, I’ve been working off and on on “JokerPaint,” a little let’s-beat-images-senseless sort of toy made using Processing and with a lot of the heavy pixel lifting being done via chains of filters that I’ve made using the GLSL framework in Andrés Colubri’s GLGraphics library. I expect that at some point I’ll post it to OpenProcessing.

The image above was generated from the photo in this recent post. Unlike most paint-like image processes, JokerPaint’s imaging is continuous and real-time – never static. It’s constantly revising and touching-up and I just picked a frame at random for this still picture.

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Parallel Developments

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Color study shot for Rift: Planes of Telara

Earlier this week we were privileged to have painter & storyteller James Gurney visit the art department at Trion, both to have him speak with us and also for us to get a chance to show him our game. He’s best-know to the public for the Dinotopia books (favorites at our house for many years – See See & I were also lucky enough to see the Dinotopia show at the Norton Museum in Palm Beach a few months back), and known to a lot of artists for his blog and several art technique books, including the new Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter.

We got the chance to look at some advance copies of the book and also hear him talk a little bit about (among many other things!) how the brain processes color and luminance separately – which of course reminded me of this old post on the Black and White Brain. It’s exciting to me to see someone as accomplished as Gurney coming at the same ideas from a different direction and for different purpose.

It’s been several years now where I find that some of the biggest sources of information for my work in computer-graphic coloring and shading come not from computer scientists or even other people doing similar work – instead, they come from painters. Not just realist painters, either. Gradations, highlighting, punctuation, contrast, shape – increasingly I think of shading as a sort of painting-without-drawing.

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