Monday, July 21, 2008

Week 1


  1. Outside the idyllic, luxurious world of yachts and beauty while inside the chaos of a mother's world. It is most interesting that the working woman(seated and reading a magazine) seems leisurely but the stay at home mother is actually working. The photo calls into question which job (in the home or outside of the home) involves more work but it also juxtaposes that work against the external image of leisure.

  2. I'm gonna give this a try...okay, "seeing seeing."

    What kind of perspective am I being given? Am I seeing these women from the eyes of another person who is a part of the scene? Or is the fact that neither of them acknowledge my presence an indication of my impossible existence and my invisible voyeurism?

    What's weird is that as I envision myself in either case, I feel like a man. I don't know why, but this feels like I am seeing women through a man's eyes--whether he's actually there as a member of the scene depicted or not.

    Either way, the photographer is there, and inevitably a tangible aspect of the scene--I wonder if it's a man.

  3. Why can't I be both? ...The efficient and the chill. I see myself, torn be responsibility and desire. A dual presence awakened!

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  5. I think, in looking at what I see as the quite intentional absence of a male presence, the domestic setting of the image in a world overwhelmed with the image of the "nuclear" family, begs the very question of that absense. In a sense, this image acts as a subtle interuption (and challenge) of cultural heteronormality, and a delving into roles within a homosexual relationship. If a man had been in either one of the womens positions, I would argue that the image's domestic setting would have produced many responses in which a relationship, between the man and the woman would have been established.

    In this image, we are inside the room and we are direct observers of their lives. We are in the realm of these two females to witness that a relationship between two women can have the same stratification of roles as a heterosexual relationship.

  6. What sticks with me about this image is what it's framing vs. how it is framed. It seems to be capturing a relatively spontaneous moment (the woman on the left is caught mid-step, woman on the right casually browsing a magazine). But the way this picture is taken is not as though a friend snapped it with a digital camera. It appears very deliberate; the camera is most likely on a stand; it encompasses the room within the shot in the same way a page in a home decorating magazine would.

    Which then makes me inquisitive as to know what type of magazine the she's reading. Come oooonnn meta.

  7. In the bottom left hand corner the DVD player is on and the disc feeder is open, yet the television is off. I think it's strange that the one is on and open while the other is off. It is also stirring how neither of the individuals seem to know or care that the device is on. In fact, it seems as if the basket had been pushed in front of it.

  8. When I look at this image, I feel like an intrusive or invisible guest. While one woman is relaxing with a magazine and the other is in the middle of cleaning, I am here, just standing here, staring into their quiet lives. Neither acknowledges my presence. They don’t see me, but I see them. I am both with them and worlds apart from them in my boat-less, pier-less reality. My self-presence (and self-absence, for that matter) is called into question.

  9. The two women seem to be deep in their own thoughts, not noticing each other or a third presence in the room (whether it be a camera or a person). They don't look like they were expecting guests- they didn't clean up or really dress up, and are going about their daily business. From this snapshot, we get to see the view outside their window and appreciate its beauty, but they seem to not see it. It is as if we're seeing their 'not-seeing'- them not looking out the window or at each other, or at the camera that is inevitably in the room.

  10. What initially caught my attention about this photo was its frame within a frame structure. The two frames of the windows coupled with the two frames on the wall parallel the outermost frame of the photo itself, and those frames naturally drew my eye to the frame of the television set and onto the frame-like pattern of the checkerboard tablecloth.

    In that vein, the scene seems particularly geometrical when juxtaposed with the random, sporadic shapes of the trees just outside the windows--the way that sporadic display of nature seems to literally encroach upon the living room scene begs the question as to why these women have embraced that barrier between themselves and the myriad activities their backyard and nature itself has to offer.

    The women in the this scene seem to have embraced the barriers between themselves as well. The chairs, clutter, and magazine cover function as a barrier between the women that could suggest their indifference towards one another or a potential character clash.

  11. In many ways, this image is a typical representation and in many ways it is not. From the mother-daughter stand point, it is quite common to see the mother doing housework with the daughter leafing through a magazine and separating herself from the work. However, the relationship between the two women are unclear. They look about the same age so they could be friends or lesbian lovers who live together as well. I like the contradiction of the stereotype that women are always neat and clean through the clutter in the living space. The owner of the house belongs in the middle class to be able to afford a view like that, although not upper middle class because of the power lines right outside the windows. One striking element is the positioning of the television. It cannot be easily viewed by either the living space or the dining space which begs the question what other space is just off the frame? The women seem detached from each other. I feel naughty, like watching an uncomfortable family scene I should not be a privy of. I like where the photograph puts the viewer- right in the heart of it things.

  12. Should I feel weird watching her fold napkins? If this scene happened in front of me I would be obligated to offer help. Since they're ignoring me and I'm not in the scene - it just makes me feel awkward and socially uncomfortable. I guess I'll just read a magazine...

  13. This light bulb is an artificial imitation of sunlight. Potted tulips and orchids are domesticated wannabes of untamed nature. This room is a static and regulated impersonation of the outdoor environment. However, out the window the atmosphere looks shadowy and bleak, bereft of light. And nature has been mostly uprooted, left with industrial buildings and naked trees. The imitation has surpassed the so-called real.

    Photos are regarded as means to capture life, to create a lesser replication of a moment or place with a tiny CLICK. This image warns us against reading the photo as simply a simulation of life, for an image-event, like this room, can outdo the real world in portraying/performing existence.

    A TV in the corner hints at the possibility of a hyper enhanced reality, a third realm of vitality, a still further severance from nature. The wonder of you seeing this picture mirrors this self-displacing occurrence, discounting and forgetting reality.

  14. What stands out to me as the most conspicuous aspect of the scene is the scene within the scene: the cityscape. It is rendered artificial, better yet-decorative within the flattened plane of the image. The incredible depth of field allows the window to frame the cityscape as a another picture among the two more obvious frames it is located next to. Beyond that, this picture appears to be taken from the perspective of someone just entering the scene of active inaction. We enter the room quietly or perhaps spectrally. This is how the perspective orients the ghost observer of the image always within the realm of the image but necessarily detached at the same time. The gaze of both women is averted, we observe from the entry as invisible voyeurs. I don’t think they were expecting guests.

  15. This scene reminds me of every roomate situation I've ever had: They're doing housework, and I'm not...
    It seems like these two women are of roughly the same age. From this perspective, it seems like the scene is unfinished - the woman folding laundry is wearing socks, the coffee table is covered with miscellaneous articles and the DVD player is open - signalling some sort of incompleteness. Another possible interpretation may be that this is actually the same woman, the different aspects of her life exhibiting a contrast.

  16. This image is a visual navigation of frames. With no space in the frame to take a seat you're left standing, looking for the correct visual cue to focus your focus on. "Perhaps these women can't see you here standing on this chair?" "Come now, you're not even in the frame. are you?"

  17. The windows and scenery outside caught my attention first. From the reflection on the TV I can see that two windows stand opposite it and you can see the reflection of what's outside. The more I look at the image the more it seems like the windows are merely passages that allow the world outside to flow into the apartment.

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  19. (should've looked my comment over before publishing)
    The talk in class today made me think about how everything is framed. I bet those two people think they have a kind-of nice view from their apartment (not to impose my judgment on the image but just go along with me). They look out the window and they think it's nice. It's a view, it's an image. And they feel like they're kind of outside of the view, observing it almost omnisciently, like a god. They're in control. "I have a nice view from my apartment." I have. Like they possess it. It's theirs. But, from the OTHER side of the window, THEY'RE the view. THEY'RE the image. They don't own the image, they are one.
    And then me. I don't own this image just because I'm analyzing it. I'm also framed. Someone can see me looking at this image. I'm an image.

    And so are you, reading this off your computer screen. Hi.

  20. It's difficult for me to ignore the fact that this photograph is entitled "A View from an Apartment". This is important, because that title frames this image for me. It is as though the digital camera in my mind auto-focuses on the window. But why not the framed images on the wall next to the window?

    Since this ("A View") is an image, why do I feel like the scene (the buildings and the water) outside the window is more real than the scenes inside the frames on the wall (or the scenes printed on the magazine covers)?

    In order to look through the window -- in order to see the view from the apartment -- ostensibly you would have to be in the apartment. And yet, there is no way you could get me into that apartment. There's no room on the couch, the chairs are covered with laundry and magazines, and the only open space on the floor where I might stand is always already occupied because it is in front of a woman walking towards that exact space (and certainly I couldn't be where she is before she moves because she's there; the space she occupies is in effect infinite).

    So if I'm not there in the apartment, I cannot see the view as a view (I cannot see through the window), but as an image stamped into the image like it is a television screen or a photograph or a painting (the window becomes a thing, as Bill Brown might say). The problem is, I see the view as a view (I say this because it seems more real to me than the framed images next to it).

    So what's the difference between a view and an image? We see through windows, some of us see through eyeglasses, some through microscopes, all through air.

    This image reminds me of one of those drawings in which someone holds a picture of himself holding the picture of himself ad infinitum. The picture he's holding is like a mirror pointed at another mirror so that the reflecting images are infinite and become infinitely smaller. This means the man in the drawing holding the magic picture is as real as the mirror that is being infinitely reflected (How else could he infinitely multiply and shrink?). The scene outside the window in "A View" is just as real, despite the fact that I am viewing it from outside the apartment and as an image (a photograph).

    There are a million things going on here, but once I heard the title of the image my seeing kicked in. Consider, for example, the reflection on the television screen or on the wood floor. "A View" defines the image as the real, the real as the image. Reflections, photographs, drawings, everything: these are all images. I suppose that means magic really does exist.

  21. This image, reminiscent of a freeze frame, has the capacity to put the viewer in an uncomfortable position. While time has seemingly stopped, the image has no central focus, providing the viewer with a sense of movement that is ever present. This dynamism subsequently works to transform a single freeze frame into a multiplicity of images, colors, and sounds. Essentially eliminating its “frozen” qualities just as quickly as it enhances them.

  22. Lots of people have spoken about the discomfort that arises in them from this image, and I'd like to speak to that which arises in me. My eye was first caught by the clutter on the table, and I liked it, for whatever reason. I also thought the woman on the left was one legged, but she wasn't, because of the careful slippage of a shadow. Then I started noticing more frames of clutter. The ironing table, the view through the window on the right, the media console, the lack of a place to sit down, the lack of free ability to move to places hidden in the apartment, etc. Then I saw how clean everything seems to be outside the clutter-- the hardwood floor is so well polished you can see reflections in it (the same can be said for the tv). The window provides a sparklingly clear and uninterrupted view of the bay scene. The walls are perfectly clean. The water in the flowers, though they are amidst clutter, is fresh.

    What bothers me most is how the clutter seems to be so artificially placed. If you look at the pictures on the wall, the one on top is ever so slightly tilted out of place, as if it were intended. Never in my experience have I seen so much order juxtaposed with so much disorder. The pairing of the two is an attempt at creating an artificial chaos.

    My clutter has always stemmed from laziness and rebellion, amongst other forces. I tolerate my clutter, and it accumulates gradually and when it reaches my threshold, I clean. The clutter here is assembled all at once, in one image, and its effect is so much more immediate to the viewer than my room is to the people who enter. This boxed and framed and cut and paste clutter runs so contrary to the clutter I experience in my own life that it makes my clutter seem unclutterlike. The chaos the artificial clutter creates is so much more jarring than the natural clutter I know, and that seems to be what bothers me most. My clutter is jealous.

  23. At first I tried to look closer into the reflections (the tv, the window, the strange reflection in the hardwood floor underneath the chair) to see what the objects the reflections were hinting towards being outside of the frame. Wondering to myself, what is placed outside of the frame or is anything hidden in the reflections that I am not seeing? If I were standing behind the camera, what around me is reflected in the mirrored space? What is behind the camera? But then Coffeen said there is nothign outside the frame, the only thing that is real is what is within the frame. The woman aren't real in the world, the exist in the frame of the image only. Then I found it interesting enough that just by trying to decipher the reflections for something that lies outside of the frame, places those unknown objects directly within the frame. By trying to decipher something unseen, the reflection (of something outside of the frame, itself becomes within the and seen, indecipherable as anything concrete.

  24. This photograph is interesting because it challenges the assumption that a picture most always have a subject or be "of" something. Even if I intentionally focus my gaze on one area I find my eyes darting back and forth between the various objects and people. The tendency to view photos through "autofocus" is disrupted.

  25. When I first saw this image, I actually thought the view outside the window was a large photograph or poster for a second. After hearing the comments in class today, I understand that my first conception is probably because the view outside is so perfectly framed by the window-frames. My next thought after thinking that the windows were actually framed photographs or posters was the realization that I was probably being irrational. From a more traditional viewpoint, it is most logical to assume that the windows are just windows with a view of what is outside the apartment. The tree and telephone lines that are continuous between both windows help to show that both windows view the outside world. Then again, the world outside the window is not moving because the entire image is a photograph. What distinguishes an unmoving world from a photograph? Why can't both windows actually be two (or 4, depending on how many frames you want to divide the windowpanes into) giant photographs, meant to be continuous?

  26. Trying to not to think 'what this image of' but 'what this image is.' Need for confirmation would ask relations and purpose of those two but seems to me that the two have nothing to do with intention of this image.

    Real world is outside of those windows. Even inside of this room is perpetrated by the camera. To a certain point this process of taking this image had to go through minimal set up. Hiring whoever those two are, placing the furniture, magazines and lighting, whether purposefully or as it was, it had to undergo certain construction.

    Real beauty is outside those windows, unaltered and unconstructed. As it is. Why not just taken just taking picture from outside then? Perhaps the window has its meaning? Maybe comparing those two picture frame which has been constructed, painted, created or whatever and two windows that are just ‘is.’ And this image, which has been constructed but outside of the frame of those windows, it just ‘is.’

  27. The image is a proliferation of frames. The windows offer their own autonomous images, distinct from the overall setting. As does the television in the corner, the picture frames on the wall, the magazines on the chair and the reflections in the floor. One could argue that the standing woman's face is it self an image as it clearly outlined(framed) by the light behind her. Walls has used photography to create a natural mosaic, made from visible light, rather than broken tile. Unlike a traditional mosaic Wall's tiles vary greatly in size and scope, which by nature refuse to lend itself to a larger image(e.g. tiny pictures of the Civil War adding up to Lincoln) This is coupled with the lack of a focus or central character or object to create an mosaic in which the images bleed into eachother rather than forming overall arching message or motif.

  28. This image calls into question the real. From the reflexivity of the electromagnetic camera lens and still-shot thereof, to the reflection displayed in the television screen—light, tangibility and ‘fictional’ matter come into play—, all of which present their own argument as the real. For instance, the vibrant light illuminated from the hanging lamp suggests that it itself is the real, while the light reflection in the window suggests a similar argument. In 'light' of an inability to establish a true algorithm of the real, this image continues to evade solidification and remains in an existence of chaos.

  29. I can't imagine a way of using a vase full of cut flowers as a bookend (especially on a high shelf) that wouldn't be a pain in the ass whenever the time came to change the flowers or the water. But maybe the books are gone through faster than the flowers can wilt and die.

    I don't know of a way to sit on a futon that doesn't fuck with the back. But maybe the residents are masochists, or are so used to discomfort that a lot of physical pain goes by unnoticed.

    Mostly, I want to press my face to the window that looks out onto the water. Since I can't do that, I want to look away.

  30. The photo is framed on the top and left hand side by a wall and the shade of the ceiling, and the lines of the window create within another frame. The frames do not fit parallel to one another, they also exist only on one corner of the image. This draws the viewer’s eye into the light and away from what would be framed traditionally (or by an all knowing digital camera) the middle and the faces. A photo of course is nothing but a reading of the reflection of light and by drawing this as the framed portion of the image it puts the light ahead of the other traditional objects of importance in a photo. The viewer instead is drawn to the object that makes the image possible.

  31. I’m going to play two games.

    In the first, View from an Apartment has been centered on my desktop, framed in black. I’ve arranged all of my desktop icons in a clutter abutting the right edge of View. The icons open to the right, directed by the diverging power lines just outside the bay window. The trick in this first game is to squint my eyes so that the icons present themselves to me as if they are spilling onto my desktop from outside in the way that the magazines appear to be spilling into the apartment.

    In the second game, I am perched slightly above the lady on the couch, but on the other side of the room. I am kind of looking out the window, but I am trying to just sit still and stare at the lady reading her magazines; I am like the floor lamp. Without looking down, I’m to decide whether or not I am sitting in clutter, or if my area has been tidied. I’m going to go with tidied, because it appears that we’ve got the magazine-lady pretty well quarantined.

  32. The first thing I felt when I looked at this image was instant aversion, during the slide show on the first day of class. Literally, I felt my face grimace, and looked away immediately. In a series of gorgeous, pleasing images (the woman looking in the mirror, the stack of papers blowing in the wind, etc)this one felt extremely jarring. Its the room--cluttered, oddly set-up, with crap everywhere that muddling it up, until I look out the window at the beautiful view--not just the nature but elegant lines: of the branches, the ships, and the houses, and finally the power lines and swath of greenery cutting through both this frame and the next. Isolating these frames restores a clam, an aesthetic ease.

  33. When I first saw this image, I saw a division between the view out the window and the view of the inside of the apartment. There's something about the view out the window with the city skyline on the horizon that looked like a painting to me. On the other hand, the view inside the apartment looked more "real" because of all the tiny household details. Initially, I felt the need to judge these two views according to the criteria of life-likeness, but why should the photograph be judged as more life-like than the painting? I'm near-sighted, so the view out the window is actually more similar to the way I see the world than the view inside the apartment is. Judging images for their similarity to the "real" is a mindset we definitely have to try to get of in this course.

  34. Wall's use of a small aperture to create a large depth of field/area of focus really compliments the 'confusion' of image and reality. For instance, the minute we say "oh, the girls and the harbor outside are real and everything else, i.e. the pictures on the wall/in magazines are fake", we suddenly realize (or must maybe remind ourselves) that we are looking at an image. Eh.

  35. The viewer of this image is forced to feel like the uninvited guest in the room; an inconvenience to these two women enraptured in their own mental states within this awkward physical space. Nothing is inviting for the viewer. There is nowhere to sit, nowhere to stand, nowhere to move. I recognize and am familiar with all of the objects in this room, yet their lack of cohesion in this space give way to a sort of organized chaos that is almost claustrophobic. It seems like such a harmless image at first, but I don't want to be in this place nor interact with these people...where's the door?

  36. The relationship between the window, the medium of the photograph and the viewer is
    particularly striking in this image. When one looks out of a window a stream of
    constant interaction and feedback is established. The window and the viewer operate
    on the same plane of activity. That is until the window is captured in the form a
    photograph and what was active becomes static, effectively ending the proliferation
    of physical stimuli while allowing the proliferation of thought to continue. This
    applies to all the things in the image that one perceives in an active state despite
    it's clear lack of motion. In the picture activity, if not halted, is redefined;
    placed in a weird zone from which we, active viewers, are disconnected. The image in
    a sense redefines and re-presents moments that we experience constantly in a timeless
    fashion from which we are now inherently separated due to our inability to stop our
    own motion, our inability to freeze. However, in redefining motion the image affords us a new
    relationship; a new platform from which we now interact with the static image
    instead the motion, instead of the familiar.

  37. At first, I felt like this image came out of a magazine showcasing "chic, modern furniture"... something like Natural Health meets Home Life meets Woman's Day- but on a closer and longer look, the image causes me to feel like I am seeing, but the subjects are not. There are a multitude of windows/screens/lights surrounding them; but not only do they fail to see eye-to-eye, but they also make no connection with the lens. This gives off the feeling that we, as viewers, are in some candid world where 'technology' (TV screen, windows, lamps) has the eyes, and humans are secondary objects.

  38. What makes this image powerful is what it does without some sort of story behind it. Who cares who these women are in this image? Whether they are mothers, lovers, or sisters, they perform a piece of this image--not necessarily privileged by their "being human." The chairs, the tables, clutter, the view outside all play key roles in this image, no part is ever shifted to the background. In fact, the women, being the most ordinary and/or predictable part of this image may BE the background, upon and around which this interesting composition of frames has been created.

    In viewing this image it is impossible to escape the proliferation of frames. Besides being contained in its own frame, The obviously inescapable character of the frames are in this picture implies the surprising commonness of frames in our own seeing of the world. Frames that while always present and directly affect how and what we see are so easily taken for granted. With so much of the world is obscured from their view, humans must deal with the frames which they see the world through, much as this image must reconcile its desire to show everything--chaos, calm, motion, stillness--by creating a proliferation of frames.

    Beyond well defined frames, implicit exist throughout this image. An implicit frame is the strange space in the image's transition between chaos and order occurs almost cyclically throughout the image. For instance, were we to view only the bottom right corner of this removing all but the woman and the cluttered table, the excitement of this image would be gone, there would be no beautiful bewilderment over where the eye should land.

  39. The image contains many framed images within its larger main frame. These other images are separated out from the main image by the frames they are in. One specific frame is that of the left window in which we see a small body of water, trees, buildings etc. All these items constitute a carefully framed snapshot of the world outside the apartment. However, they can also be viewed simply as a mass of shapes and colors, almost in a two-dimensional sense, devoid of conventional understanding and of any idea that they are outside the window instead of laid two-dimensionally on its surface. When viewed this way, one may see a similarity between the chaos of shapes and colors in the window and the chaos of shapes and colors on the table. The spatial proximity of the two similar spheres of chaos links them as one. This in effect breaks the frame of the window. Before it separated what was outside from what was inside, but now the two appear to be spilling into each other as one connected body of chaos. Consciousness of outside and inside is broken down to make the scene viewed through the window part of the apartment itself.

  40. Forgive if I repeat -- haven't read them all.

    People talk of the real and the nonreal. This seems along those lines...

    One of the things that struck me was the way the objects on the inside of the room -- particularly those around the chairs and the sitting lady -- seem to be reflections of what's on the other side of the window. The dark of the trees continues through down and to the right to the dark of the lady's clothing and of the counch's clothing. What's more compelling though is the way the material on the chairs and tables there seems to mimic the shipyard, primarily in color but also somehow in density.
    This makes me think of a couple things. For one, it makes me think of how Coffeen sought to 'do away' with 'representation' -- so, that stuff inside the room is a shipyard, and just as much the shipyard is that 'clutter' in the room. ...


    Planes: The lines of the floorboards illustrate a horizontal plane. This is intersected by the vertical plane indicated by the vents of the radiator and the frame of the window.

    Parallel lines: To the left of the image, the bookshelves, the top of the television and the table on which it sits form a set of nearly parallel lines. This is countered on the right by the set composed of the top edge of the little white rug, the bottom edge of the sofa, the arm of the sofa and the top edge of the radiator.


    -Sharp angle of the sofa arm vs. curved angle of the chair
    - interior scene on this side of the windows vs. exterior scene on the other side
    -standing woman vs. sitting woman
    -organization of objects on the ironing board vs. disorganization of objects on the table and chair


    -predominance of cool blues and grays in the upper right field of the image (water, building, blanket) as countered by predominance of warm browns and yellows in the bottom left field (wood flooring, basket.)

    -standing woman is linked to sitting woman by the telephone line passing behind and between them in the window

  42. I’m not sure what it is about this photo, even though it is a visual cacophony, it’s not one that is very exciting or even that interesting. Ordinary, manufactured objects that remind of daily rituals and processes take up most space in the frame. What I do find appealing is the stark contrast with what is seen through the large window frames: the seemingly unfamiliar, unsafe, unpredictable.

    - d. cruz

  43. At first glance, my eyes are instantly drawn to the picture perfect of the frame within the frame—that is the frame capturing the outdoor yacht landscape. As the boats are lined up evenly, almost symmetrically, my eyes want to jump through the window and experience its serenity and pulchritude. But then I recline to its overarching frame, the frame by which mediates this projection and many others. A messy conglomerate with no form, no conformity to any laws of symmetry or cleanliness. Perhaps this frame thus performs to 'jams the circuit' of what speaks to the conventional eye with banal cookie-cutter images. I walk away with a new set of lenses...

  44. What is most intriguing is the presence of several screens scattered throughout the room, all of which contain images within them. Initially, we may be compelled to think of the images as being of a different type (the objects contained in the window view being more "real" than the images that appear on the television, for instance.) However, upon recognizing that the objects are contained within a screen, we realize that they are both images (and simply images), that is, that neither of them has a more real character than any other.

  45. This shot exhibits the marbling of three distinctly different worlds that are interacting within and with one another. The lady on the couch is completely immersed in chaos yet she remains calm as if she revels in it. The lady on the right seems to be in a very sterile and calm setting yet appears to be operating diametrically with the other women in the scene. The third “world” that is functioning in this shot is the bay scene. The colors from outside the room come gushing in, thereby smearing the distinctions of the outside world and the world taking place inside.

    What is great about this reality is that there are no definitive distinctions between each of the abovementioned “worlds”. The three spaces interact and create the overall reality of the shot.

  46. One of the most striking aspects of the photograph is the presentation of a perfectly pedestrian scene. Wall structures the “ordinary” through the presence of a familiar storm of frames/images like the windows with views, the television with an image, magazines with pictures and picture-frames with photographs. The photographic medium submerges the portrait of ordinary life in a cosmos of images and frames.

    The distinction between the window and the television disappears and instead they become framed images. In the same light, the woman reading the magazine on the couch becomes a part of this equation as her face becomes an image in the same way the magazine she is reading is an image. With this barrier gone, Wall includes the observer into the cosmos of images as the observer studying the photograph is equated with the image-event in the photograph of the lady reading the magazine. The observer can then turn to his own surroundings and witness the once calm environment as it gives way to a commotion of images and image-events.

    On a side note, the distinction between leisure and work is delineated by how we interact with the images around us. Our conception of work or “getting something done” is shown by the cleaning lady who organizes the images in a way that attempts to make a clear distinction between the image world and herself. On the other hand, the leisurely lady quite comfortably swims within a storm of images (magazines, pictures, windows) around her, which eliminates the distinction between herself and the images around her.

  47. When I first saw this image my attention was immediately drawn to the window and the " view from the apartment." The window frames a little bit of the outside, although its not any type of recognizable scene--just a jumble of buildings and some type of lake. When I forced myself to look at the rest of the picture--the inside of the apartment--I noticed things were equally jumbled. Magazines, clothes, stuff, whatever. The whole picture consists of a bunch of frames--the windows, the confines of the apartment itself, pictures on the wall, the magazine framing a collection of images--but none of those contents are really of any note or importance. The only thing separating the outside "stuff" from the inside stuff are the frames that organize them.

  48. Speaking of "Motel Art" in our last class, and images/paintings that are strictly representative - "That's a sailboat on the sea," "There's a pleasant scene of countryside." - this image is so strange because it refuses to follow lines of representation that might suggest the photo "means something" or "stands for something." It is too complex - truly there are too many things going on to boil it down to some essence. If the photo is a 'scene of domestic life' or 'a window into an emotional state,' we exhibit too much a need to bring our world to an image instead of allowing an image to work us over as viewer! The photo is intelligent - it possesses curious design and unique composition - let it shine!

  49. What is most striking about Jeff Wall’s photograph is that it forces the viewer to resist the tendency to focus our gaze on a particular spot on the image (normally the center). One cannot concentrate on the domestic clutter occupying the frame’s center without immediately becoming distracted by peripheral clutter. Further, the ubiquity of frames inhabiting the image affects the viewer in the same way. What results is a constant competition amongst frames, each of which vies for the viewer’s attention. The prominence of marginalia and the proliferation of framing sharpen the viewer’s awareness of his or her act of perceiving, deciphering and prioritizing a scene’s content. Additionally, the two factors deconstruct the sort of tunnel vision viewers are used to employing when looking at images.

  50. I am late, but I post nevertheless to acquaint myself with this new weekly ritual and try to dispose of that sinking-gut sensation that tells me I've forgotten to do something that was important to me.

    This image frames and contains emphatically. Much has been made of the frames of the television, the windows, the pictures on the wall, and even the laundry basket, but first is the walking woman in brown. Look at the lines of all these aforementioned frames and they converge upon her. Note particularly the interaction between the lines of the television, shelves, and laundry basket on the left wall and the lines of the windows--not to mention the way the objects in the room frame a pocket of space leading up to her. The composition shoots attention to this walking woman, but wait, is she really walking?

    Look at her posture and see if you can conjure a sense of motion. I for one cannot. You can't even see the bottom half of her left leg. How can she be walking? Instead I see a very contained stillness, the kind of posture assumed by a statue--not a person roving comfortably about one's home. Perhaps it could be the posture of a famous statue, one of Wall's ubiquitous quotes, but given our apparent ignorance of such things I suppose it's irrelevant to us. Nevertheless it seems pointedly posed, classically composed in the same manner as the few statues I can envision (David, the man thinking with his head on his elbow on his knee). This particular posture, quoted or not, and its prominent position, framed by frames in an ideal spot within the frame of the image, certainly is relevant to us. We may not know its relation to art history, but that doesn't matter so much because we know now its relation to the many frames and containers in the image. Frames of things outside, of pictures, of dirty clothes, of colors and lines strewn across windows and across tables, of views and ways of viewing--all framing the carefully composed, contained human--showing us how frames can contain and control us, but also how frames allow us control as we become aware of them and their effects, as we see our manner of seeing.

  51. 16 different views of a woman make up a picasso like single image of her. Each picture is separate, framed all its own, and yet they are all unified in the larger frame. Different colors, shading, orientation, etc. give each individual image, even the ones coming from the same negative, a different feel. Each image is infinitely reproducible and yet each is distinct.

    Unlike some of the other images we've seen so far, this is of a known person, a celebrity no less. Yet here she is stripped of her identity in a sense. This is not a collage of her life displayed at a funeral proceeding. She is not a real person, only a familiar face, many familiar faces. A face that can be infinitely muted and reproduced is thus de-personified. Where does the real woman lie? This is not her nor evidence of her.

  52. im not sure am i allowed to write here, because i wasnt in class :) but i listen the podcasts now :) anyway :) about that image:

    I see a girl (left one), but i dont want to look in the picture from the prospective: "housewife, mess, cleaning, working woman" :) So, why that woman is cleaning? maybe she is dancing (not a professional, but just for fun), why is she can't be dancing? I think she is dancing and image pictured the moment when she thinks how to make a move :) Yeap, she holds a some napkin for cleaning, so maybe she do both :) she cleans and dances to make it more funny and positive :) And if she's dancing - maybe a music is turned on? a some cool music :)

    Next, i've no idea why, but i noticed that the windows have no drapes...i just noticed :) dont know what to do with it :)

    And, I think it is NOT a humans view. Yes, it is the regular eyes height, but its a rectangular - i cant see world in a rectangular form :) if it was a human look - we'll be able to see something more :) so i guess its definately not a human's look - maybe a camera :) or someone else :)

    Oh, and about a girl :) i dont know why i privilige her and made her a center of the image :) but anyway, she is a pretty, good-looking, she's slim, she has a perfect skin, she can be a model :) or maybe she is or was one :) so its nice to look at her :) and she fits this room, not like the other girl who seems to be waiting for someone to get to the job :)


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