Wednesday, October 8, 2008

mundane |ˌmənˈdān|


1 lacking interest or excitement; dull : seeking a way out of his mundane, humdrum existence.

2 of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one : according to the Shinto doctrine, spirits of the dead can act upon the mundane world.

of, relating to, or denoting the branch of astrology that deals with political, social, economic, and geophysical events and processes.


mundanely adverb

mundaneness noun

mundanity |-ˈdānətē| noun ( pl. -ties).

"There is a group photo pool on the photo-sharing site Flickr made up 

entirely of images of bottle houses. That is, houses made of bottles."

okay...but seriously

"On these sites, photography has become less about the special or rarefied moments of domestic/family living (for such things as holidays, gatherings, baby photos) and more about an immediate, rather fleeting display of one’s discovery of the small and mundane."

"It seems to speak to a new aesthetic and function – one dedicated to the exploration of the urban eye and its relation to decay, alienation, kitsch, and its ability to locate beauty in the mundane (see Figure 4). Some have claimed that it is indeed a new category of photography, called ‘ephemera’."

Murray, Susan. Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics.

Journal of Visual Culture Aug 2008.

"In this article, the author argues that the social use of digital photography as represented on Flickr, signals a shift in the engagement with the everyday image, as it has become less about the special or rarefied moments of domestic living and more about an immediate, rather fleeting, display and collection of one's discovery and framing of the small and mundane. In this way, photography is no longer just the embalmer of time that Andre Bazin once spoke of, but rather a more alive, immediate, and often transitory practice/form. In addition, the everyday image becomes something that even the amateur can create and comment on with relative authority and ease, which works to break down the traditional bifurcation of amateur versus professional categories in image-making."

My work has been taking a turn towards re-creating the 'everyday' or the mundane, and isolating it and photographing it in a way that it begins to look exceptional. This started in the transformation of alley spaces into sort of secret garden spaces, and I think I would like to keep to this idea of people grounded in reality by the most mundane of activities, but finding that possibility of something greater, even if it really only exists in a cerebral space. I am still looking for more academic report on 'the mundane in fine art photography,' but I think it's worth it to bare in mind the effect of casual, social photography and how it has expanded our ideas of appropriate and engaging subject matter.

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