Milan ordinary landscapes. Giardino Robert Baden-Powell #6

"When the real world changes into simple images, simple images become real beings and effective motivations of a hypnotic behavior. The spectacle as a tendency to make one see the world by means of various specialized mediations (it can no longer be grasped directly), naturally finds vision to be the privileged human sense which the sense of touch was for other epochs; the most abstract, the most mystifiable sense corresponds to the generalized abstraction of present day society," Guy Debord “The Society of the Spectacle”.
A picture, it does not matter that much how produced, is itself an object. For a lot of people it may be even an object of desire. The desire to make something similarly spectacular, or beautiful or so. For others the need to have it is the most "natural" consequence. Purpose may be a good practical key for interpreting the meaning coming from the match between the photographers intentions and the addressee, as Mike Chisolm pointed out in an interesting post. To transform real things into objects of desire is an ancient wanna be dating back to Midas' King myth. The consumerist society give us only this opportunity of expression ?

Since I'm a strong, and somewhat masochistic, idealist (or if you are better a giant egocentric) I firmly believe that there may be other ways or purposes. One of them is certainly, as much as cicadas do, to mark my place in this world, as a viewer. In this case photographs are, for me, simply an outcome of a stream of conscious viewing.

Landscape photography, among other genres, has lots of roots in the need to transform places in something that can be sold. It's not a case that one of the most celebrated, Ansel Adams, landscapists started exactly from that point as he points out in his biography; certainly he succeeded. But on the darker side he also succeeded in the production of that unhappiness that may be subsumed under the “Vacation blues”, that subtle depression that takes in when the place you desired so much does not match with the projection build upon the encountered images.

It seems to me that this may be the zeitgeist of landscape photography, a profound tension among the need to built up objects of desire and the need to communicate the experience, not always positive, of looking at our world.

But getting to more amusing things, the strict followers of this blog certainly know of my personal interest in the Situationist International. Recently I've been amused by what I would call “Born Again Situationism” that seems to pop up every where, even in suspicious academic contexts. I do not have any shareable key to understand why except to read it in a postmodern light as pointed out by this paper.

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