Rationalism & Empiricism and Neoclassicism & Romanticism

Which approach do you prefer and why?

Even though I think that we live our life using both, rationalists and empiricists ideas, I personally prefer empiricism. Abilities to see,smell,touch and hear are main experiences everyday, and even though rationalist says that these experiences comes only later in life and not at birth and therefore they are not so important I still think that without these experiences our intuition and logic would not work so well. Also, empiricists ideas gives more freedom to an artist to explore world and new ideas.

What connections you can find with empiricism and contemporary art ?

Nowadays popularity of installation art (not installation of art) increases all the time, and most of them are very much sense based. I can see connection between installation art and empiricism as both concentrates on person’s experience. This way art becomes more than white gallery space with framed 2D works or sculptures on stands. Viewer is involved in installation as well as installation has impact on the viewer. 

Antony Gormley installation Blind Light, NYC 2007

Bill Viola Five Angels For The Millennium (photo)

Bill Viola (b. 1951) is video artist from USA.

Ocean Without a Shore, 2007

External image

It is mind-blowing to hear how this work was done and what technologies was used, I think every artist waits for that point in his life when you can have any budget to create work that you envision. 

Ocean Without A Shore is really well thought installation. In my opinion Bill Viola created a beautiful piece which fits so well with the space that he got.  This work made me think how important for artist is attention to detail and history (that is why research is important) It is so important to choose venue which goes with your work, and I do not mean that religious work should be in church, but every artist should try to find space which would complement his work. White walls and huge spaces sometimes does not go with work.

Charlotte Cotton ‘The Photograph As Contemporary Art’

Charlottte Cotton says that this book is to explore photography field as it is today. She divides photography in several different 'types’ trying to assign some photographers to those types. However, while reading the book I can feel it that it is based on authors opinion and knowledge rather than actual facts. 

I don’t really think that you can create photography 'types’ so easily, based on how one sees field. However, even though I do not agree with author on most of it there still were some great ideas that made me thinking.

'Difference between staged photography and performative art is that viewer only gets to see result.' I liked this point as it makes photography even more complex. Photographer can be a viewer too, so it would make most of staged photography into peformative art. Staged photographs can actually be worse quality and can be called records of some kind of performance. So I do like duality that applies, there is only tiny line between photography and performative art. 

'At what point in history and our own lives did a corner of a floor represented in a photograph became iconic, worthy of our attention?' This question in a book sound very rhetorical, but I actually would like an answer. I personally don’t classify this as art and it makes me angry how many people think that less visual quality in photograph means a better work. If you can not see meaning or beauty in piece of art, there probably is none of them there. Do not be one of people thinking  'wow I saw his name on TV and wow this piece is worth 100 000 so PROBABLY he is a good artist’. Probably he is not. 

However, I have to stress that while reading a book I found some new for me and very interesting artist. Great source for new artists to look at.

Greta Sa

What is now? Notions of the contemporary in photographic theory

One of last 4 lectures in my second year was about contemporary relevance by Gemma Marmalade. 

Lecture was very wide and detail, so I kind a lost it, especially with all the technical problems. However, there was a part which was very interested for me. Tutor showed couple works of Retro-Futurism. I never heard of it before so I got very interested to find out more.

Not only I never heard of it, I actually never saw anything like that, so I did spend a lot of time having fun on images and imagining how would that work in reality…

Name of this trend says everything you need to know: past and future interacting with each other. For me it seems quite straight forward.

Retro-futurism (adjective retro-futuristic or retro-future) is a trend in the creative arts showing the influence of depictions of the future produced prior to about 1960.[1]Characterized by a blend of old-fashioned “retro” styles with futuristic technology, retro-futurism explores the themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology. Primarily reflected in artistic creations and modified technologies that realize the imagined artifacts of its parallel reality, retro-futurism has also manifested in the worlds of fashion, architecture, literature and film.

While looking for inspiration from retro-futurism, I decided to check if there are any photographers interested in it. I found commercial photographer Ben Sandler. 

both by Ben Sandler

Duality and contrary is something I am very interested in. And this relations between past and future is contrary which can have many different manifestations. All I saw was taking retro piece and adding something futuristic. I would like to explore what would happen if you use futuristic view and take away something out from it.

In the end retro-futurism looks like specific form of surrealism…and I do love it. 


The Illusiun of Equality

Feminism-a doctrine advocating social, political, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

First wave feminists- XIX and beginning of XX century. Right to vote, own property, parenting..

Second wave feminists-started in 1960s-to date. Discrimination,sexism..

Third wave feminists - the end of XXcentury-to date. Also rape, prostitution, outdated traditions for women in some parts in Africa…

Women in full-time work do 23 hours of domestic work in comparison to men’s 8

Working Conditions in the European Union:The Gender Perspective 2007

The Best Thing About Me Is You - Ricky Martin (equality of people, not just gender wise)

My Opinion

I am not sure if I can call myself a feminist as I am not very active but I definitely agree and support them. As inactive feminist it makes me furious time to time to meet people with zero knowledge of movement. So here you are, some very basic insights: 

  • If one is feminist it does not mean she is lesbian
  • Feminist does NOT think that women are better than men. We are all equal.
  • We do NOT want to soften your masculinity and believe me, we are not big, angry and disappointed with men. 
  • There are many feminists who think that there are some areas where men are underestimated and they think it is worth attention as feminism is about EQUALITY.
  • Not only white women can be feminists

Hope that will be useful to someone. I personally believe that this topic is still very much important in 2013!

Mark Wallinger

3rd seminar-screening 

Mark Wallinger (b.1959)- is a British artist, best known for his sculpture in Trafalgar’s square. 

Mark Wallinger was in charge of British pavilion in Venice Biennale 2001

During seminar we watched movie about him and his art. One of the most known pieces is Angel, video filmed in Angel station in London Underground.

However, I found out about his new project in London Underground, which I want to research more.

Art on the Underground: mark Wallinger’s Labirinth

Labyrinth is created for London Underground 150 years anniversary. There is going to be 270 different labyrinths all over London Underground map. They all are unique and each of them has a number.

What I really like about labyrinths is that they are interactive, people can touch them and find way in or way out. Another sensible touch to this project is that because it is raised from 2D blind people can enjoy this too, they just need their friends or family to show where on the wall it is and they can play too. One more pro is that you have some entertainment while waiting for tube. I actually can not wait to go to London to find one of these.

I do enjoy public art, it is great, as people can see it and in this case actually experience on daily basis, you do not need to go to gallery. From artist’s perspective it is so beneficial, as even people who probably  would not go to gallery can see your work. And in this particular case is like few million passengers every day!!



I personally would not have anything against consumerism, why not to be happy if all person needs is something new. You only live once and if you are satisfied with the modern society then why to go against it? Just buy new toy and be happy. However, I see consumerism very much connected with ecology, people buy new things, they crowd their home and then they bin belongings so there is more space for new stuff. Pollution increases with each thing you buy, as companies produces as many product as you are going to buy. I am not saying that if you would stop buying everything would change, but if we ALL would change the way we buy things it would make difference for our nature. When I say the way we buy things I mean just to choose quality over quantity. That would make a difference.