AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Complex by composite - A comparative analysis of pop songs and observational photographs

by Thomas Owen Wallace

Institution: University of New South Wales
Department: Media Arts
Year: 2014
Keywords: Street photography; Traditional photography; Observational photography; Formal beauty; Popular music; Pop songs; Popular aesthetic; Populism; Popular culture; Mass culture; Mass media; John Baldessari; Edward Ruscha; Artist books; Formalism; Photo-conceptualism; Photo-text; Conceptual art; Conceptualism; Beauty; Anti-aesthetic; Dave Hickey; Robert Adams; Patrick Pound; Edward Steichen; Aby Warburg
Record ID: 1055085
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/53835


This paper supports the contemporary relevance of the traditional method, of observational, street photography, and relates the weakened status of this method in contemporary art discourse to the disenfranchised status of formal beauty. A parallel is drawn between the composite of verbal/visual elements in photographic exhibitions, and the verbal/musical structure of the pop song. This Paper argues the compatibility of intuitive and formal strategies in observational photography, with post session conceptual verbal strategies. Two models of the post session conceptual development of observational photographs are offered for analysis: The numbering and categorisation of intuitive photographs with the intention of identifying behavioural patterns; and the application of text to photographs with the intention of articulating the primacy of formal beauty.