Attraction of Artificiality

Ali Alışır – “Virtual Places” – 2011
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In the past, painters started from nature while they were designing their work of art. This was how romanticism was technically established.  In their artworks Lorrain, Monet, and Manet produced their master pieces by referring to the nature. This effect continued to be a starting point for modern period painters. While Cezanne was dividing nature into cubic shapes, Picasso was breaking it (and the objective reality) pieces. This was both an opposition against form, and cooperation with nature. Master pieces were created with nature and its light.  If nature and its source light were not in photographers’ lives maybe it would not be possible to talk about modern art at all. While establishing the formation of the modern period, photography and painting were always in cooperation with nature. Both nature and light have always been the raw material of art.
After the modern period and along with the effects of industrial revolution, today’s technological developments created the artificial world as well as the artificial human. In artificial world, the starting point of artworks is not nature anymore; because there is no such nature that should be described. Technological developments made it meaningless.
The understanding of photography in modern period, which was affected by the spirit of natural light, is diminished today. In a world of electricity, nothing remained from natural light.  It is true that photography was once a part of darkness. However, today enlightenment and darkness are turned into tele-images (there are no darkness and mystery hidden behind the photons that can be described).
The digital pictures we take today are neither reflections nor flows of the nature.  Each picture became a codification. In our day, an extraordinary technologic (operational) liveliness took the place of “instant” negative and positive image.
The light, which had constituted photography for 150 years, was eventually free from its camera obscura and started to have appearance on virtual media through electronic circuits. The reality of our real world was curved and a virtual media, in which images are dominant, took its place.
There is no need of nature in the world of images. Therefore, natural is not necessary anymore. There is no “natural instant” in the worlds of people who take pictures and the ones whose photo taken. It is almost impossible to take a picture of the being as itself and have one’s photo taken as himself. Everyone is either happy or looks happy in a certain frame.  This is an extremely unfortunate situation, because an artificial person knows that nothing is natural but he has to act as if everything is natural.
In this century, allured by the things that are not real, we have to witness this similar change between the chemistry of photography and chemistry of humanity. Today we are playing with the attraction of artificially created things, just like we play with images without negatives, which are the biggest invention of the digital world.
Through the attraction of artificiality, we are on the rails of re-awaking and revitalizing (just like the techniques once Egyptian used during the resurrection sessions) all historical events and their representative icons (characters) one by one by using their images. Today, we are meticulously cleaning the archaic stray soundtracks by using flawless digital setting, and we are re-creating images of important leaders and historical events more real through modeling and digital make ups; in a way, we are regenerating the dead.
Maybe the classical understanding of photograph frames and as Susan Sontag puts “participating to other people’s or other things’ mortality, disparity, helplessness, and changeability” are not necessary anymore. Today, photography (technologies) creates the immortality through images and always produces new techniques about the changeability of helplessness.
Art is having its share of this huge change. Similar to the impressionist or expressionist painters who once embraced their own flaws in reaction to the invention of camera, we are trying to create the perfection against artworks that have been produced this date and the charmless nature. We are making towards recreating the world artificially.
While the period of art, from the days of big painters to today; and natural ways of learning and experiencing are coming to an end; we are entering to a production era by interacting with the artificial things.
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Ali Alışır – 2012
ali@alialisir.com /   alialisir@hotmail.com
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