I have not been writing for quite a long time. At least, this kind of writing here where I am not subjected to any scrutiny; nor do I have the obligation to be responsible for it. This is where I write to myself, and probably to some of you who still have the interest to read this.
I have many thoughts, yet I am not able to pour them out. It frustrates me. I am very cautious with my words, obviously only in writing; for they are always written for the basis of consumption. Thus, the habit of self-editing as I go paragraph by paragraph. A fifty-page academic article took me a year to finish.
Whether it is academic, popular, or just a 800-word book review, they were all for a measly amount of payment (or prestige, if you would be so kind not to judge me).
It is truly where the medium becomes your first concern when it comes to writing. 'What should I write' is dictated by 'where would I want my writing being published in', or specifically, 'who is the person I want to impress'.
"The medium is the message," as coined by McLuhan. It truly is, indeed.
In this turbulent time, you are shaped (and define yourself) by the medium that you use. You identify yourself with it, along with the circle it nurtured. It is practically the same with the phrase 'you are what you consume'. Not in a narrow sense of food, of course; but in the consumption habit that you developed in formulating your own identity.
However, we should extend the phrase, with a little tweak: 'you are what you portray yourself to be'. This is the kind of zeitgeist we live in now.
We have way passed the age that contemplates art against the condition of infinite reproduction through mechanical means. This is the age where, to steal Benjamin's phrase, the works of arts are conditioned by its most primordial setting: the medium where it is portrayed to be.
But the holy place of art today is very much different from the way it was back in the Victorian age (in a sense, the Western art). A painting in a gallery or national museum, that is a high art. A wall painting on the street, that is street art or common art. Now, the latter was supposed to be, during its inception, a statement inspired to break down the wall built by the Modernist that is formalism. The Dadaist took refuge in their 'playfulness', and the contempt they slipped in their works as a manifesto to pave a new narrative for art. But now it is pretty much just a shape (or scribble, or doodle, or whatever it may be) that does not have any form, accompanied by whatever gibberish the artist wishes to put in the catalog as a justification for his/her work of art.
Without a proper form, there would not be any meaningful essence. For in the form lies the very tradition where such and such works of art were to be made upon.
I am currently nibbling a bit here and there on photography, mostly for an assignment purpose. And of course, it does not concern anywhere near the technique, composition, or so and so.
What comes before the digital is the ability of one's 'eyes' to capture one's reality.
What it means by "one's reality" and not the definite article of Reality? Simple. A photograph is kind of a statement from its photographer that persuades us to gaze upon what he or she deems worthy to be looked at. It is not an invitation, but a declaration that my reality is worthy of your attention.
In photography, however much the technology has advanced, the eyes of the gazer is an intrinsic ability that would immediately inform us whether this person is a genuine article or just a poseur equipped with a gadget(s).
Agitation often comes from an uncontextualised statement, whether it is a conscious provocation or blatant stupidity. The latter proves to be more dangerous.
Truth can only be found in the most banal condition of reality that requires our consideration on its historical, the context in which it resided in.