The Instigator
Off_the_Wall.Paul
Pro (for)
Winning
29 Points
The Contender
Randomknowledge
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Photography: The Bastardized Child of the Arts

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2008 Category: Arts
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,438 times Debate No: 3008
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (10)

 

Off_the_Wall.Paul

Pro

Simply put, I contend that the validity of photography as an art form tends to waver between true art, and false art. Some photography is art and some is not. What is in between, and why it is there is the crux of this debate.
Randomknowledge

Con

Hello paul, and being an amateur photographer myself this will be interesting.

You said:

"I contend that the validity of photography as an art form tends to waver between true art, and false art. Some photography is art and some is not. What is in between, and why it is there is the crux of this debate."

If i put that all into one sentence it would be somewhat like this: Some photography is art and some is not, and it tends to waver between true art and false art.

The stance that I will argue is that all photography is not meant to be art. National geographic photographers are not looking to give art, they are photojournalists, in a sense. Yes, alot of photography is meant to be artistic, and thus making photography an ART FORM, of which you find the definition muddled.

I leave you with a quote from the great Ansel Adams:

Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Off_the_Wall.Paul

Pro

Photography as a pure art form has been debatable from its earliest days of existence. That fact remains that there are different types of photography that serve different purposes. The quote in which you invoke from Mr. Adams offers an opinion on photography from a photographer. What it also does is reference one of the most renowned fine art photographers in photo history. Adams' photographs are pristine in there state of exactness, particularly those of the Yosemite and Yellowstone series. In those series of photographs, the aesthetic perfection and mastery of the field camera render nature in an astounding way, the likes of which have never been duplicated. These images of nature represent the epitome of beauty in art, and should not be mistaken for being only photo documents, and NOT art, even though documentary photography is in fact art. The works by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, John Szarkowski, and Edward Weston, just to mention a few, all lend truth to the belief that documentary photography is art.

If the ideas of formalism in aesthetics as defined by Emmanuel Kant in (Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, 1764) are in place at the inception of the creation of art, then such is the case that the product created is art. My contention is that photography is one of the mediums of expression that most removes the artist from the true spirit of art, which is the catalyst for creation by the artist, visual or otherwise. The technological aspect coupled with the purpose of the photograph are what potentially separates the photographer from the spirit of art, like a child snapping a picture of kitten. The overall value in the example of the photograph in the aforementioned scenario lies in the memory of the moment and holds no true artistic value. The stance in which Randomknowledge takes is that "photography is not meant to be art." In other words, this statement is claiming that photography holds a universal property to not represent art in an absolute sense. While there is a gray area that is accepted in analyzing the authenticity of photography as an art form, it would be difficult to define photography as an absolutely non-artistic form of expression. My opponent proposes a daunting task for himself.
Randomknowledge

Con

Randomknowledge forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Off_the_Wall.Paul

Pro

You stated, "The stance that I will argue is that all photography is not meant to be art." This argument has yet to be supported with any evidence. I will await a response of the round 2 argument that was presented.

The argument about whether photography is a valid art form or not is an intriguing one. There are certainly different levels one can delve into when analyzing this matter. The question remains, how much of the artists' spirit from the mind gets separated from a mechanical tool such as a camera, how personal is it really? When we consider these questions raised by Nietzsche, Mallarm´┐Ż, Heidegger, and the hermeneutics, and poststructuralism and the deconstruction studies of Walter Benjamin, Danto etc. we may then question a photograph, and how much is revealed about the object represented in it, or about something exterior to the thing itself?
Randomknowledge

Con

I deeply regret forfeiting a round, but some things came up. Here we go. you said:

"The question remains, how much of the artists' spirit from the mind gets separated from a mechanical tool such as a camera, how personal is it really? When we consider these questions raised by Nietzsche, Mallarm´┐Ż, Heidegger, and the hermeneutics, and poststructuralism and "

It was once said that a camera will do alot of things for you, but two things it wont do is decide whats in the frame and when to press the shutter. I believe that this proves that there is still much artistic integrity to photography, as the subject is pretty much what all art is about. Take portrait painting, or even still life. The subject of the painting (as simple as this concept is) is what the people look at, it is (frankly) THE SUBJECT. now, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that what the photographer puts into the frame/ what they "point the camera at" is all up to them, all artistic talent. I also feel it is necessary to revive the point that all photography is not meant to be art; take newspaper photography, mug shots, yearbook photos and the like.

Final Statement: all photography is not art but photography is considered art.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 9 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
I contend that snooty, starving artists are overly-concerned about other people's opinions. After all, who or what exactly arbitrates "art?" Art is one of the most ambiguous things I can think of.

Case in point: Some people refer to Picasso as art. I think it sucks. In fact, I think just about all abstract art is worthless. But that's my opinion, and it is no more (in)valid than yours. Some people find a pickle with a little French flag sticking out of it art. I think it sucks.

At the end of the day, beauty is still in the eye of the beholder. And if you don't know that photography is more than just pointing a camera, then I would suggest trying to take it up and find out for yourself. That's like saying shooting guns is as easy as pointing it. Its not!

Furthermore, your opponent mentions that not all photography is designed to be art. By grouping all of them together, you conflate the issue.

Now, you did make a good point about artistic ability. But how are you honestly going to argue opinions when there is no objective value to it?
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Vote Placed by GaryBacon 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by massvideogamer 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by SolaGratia 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by birdpiercefan3334 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Off_the_Wall.Paul 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Randomknowledge 9 years ago
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