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Invented for people who are visually driven

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Invented in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce during the rapid
development of industries, photography
was born. Its ability to capture movement, construct history evoke both emotion
and character and create memories helped it become one of the most important
parts of the art world. This essay will depict and analyse how the birth of photography
has impacted upon contemporary art practice and spectatorship. I believe the development
of photography and film have changed traditional art notably. People rarely
seek to have portraits painted due to the cheaper alternative of photographs. However,
I also believe from this we embrace other art movements which couldn’t be captured
with a camera such as, pop art, surrealisms, minimalisms, and abstract art to
name a few. Would these have rocketed to such a degree without the existence of
photography? As well as this I will be exploring how photography has desensitised
us as spectators of the imagery we surround ourselves with on social media and
other entertainment forms. It gives us instant access to other peoples lives
and prompts anxieties in many over excessive exposure. This causes profound
uncertainty in parents whom will worry about the media and how it will effect
their children, also in teenagers and young adults bening insecure in themselves
as they see all the photgrpahs of the ‘perfect boyd’ or lifestyle.

Social Media gives us easier access to a whole variety of art
work. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and
Pinterest are some of these websites in which we can enjoy art and find out
information on many different artists. Some would agree that this has destroyed
the novelty of going to visit a gallery or museum and would prove that photography
has definitely changed the world of Art in a negative way.Social media is more
sui    ted to a younger demographic and
some artists are even using this as a way of capturing their audiences through
online cultural and social trends. Instragam
is the key social network for contemporary art today as the image sharing phenomenon
now has over 600 million users. It works for people who are visually driven and
want to be able to share and promote their works. Resulting in it becoming a
legitimate contemporary art medium and movement of its own.
Artist Amalia Ulman used her Instagram account
(@amaliaulman) as the platform for a new performance art, in which created a
new persona for herself becoming a typical LA girl. She narcissistically mimics
lifestyle, poses and aesthetics that these girls typically behold and post. Ulman
was exhibited in the Tate Modern ‘Performing for the camera’ exhibition which examined the
relationship between performance and photography. Traditionalist artists caused uproar about this as they believe social media based art work does not belong in galleries and museums and has a long way to go before it has a
regognisable value. Claiming “it was too
accessible, too banal to be art”. Again proving how there is a change in the contemporary art world and how some people are embracing
it and others are truly stuck in their ways.  

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Another way in which I
believe that photography has changed our ways of seeing is how desensitised we
have become to violent images or ones of a sexual nature. These are often featured
in the media or on the news which is something we are surrounded by on a day to
day basis.Media may stimulate aggressive behaviour by desensitising children to
the act of violence meaning that they become less emotionally concerned and
find it acceptable. (Cline, Croft & Courrier, 1973).I think this is particularly
concerning the younger generation as this is what they will grow up with from
birth and begin to get used to seeing such disturbing and emotionally scaring
things. According to Browne and Hamilton-Giachritsis (2005), there is
consistent evidence that violent imagery in television, film and computer games
has substantial short-term effects on arousal, thoughts, and emotions. This
increases the likelihood of aggressive or fearful behaviour in younger
children, especially boys. However, Josephson (1987) disagrees and argues that
violence on screen is extremely different to violence in the real world,
stating that media violence is more likely to make children more ‘frightened’
than likely to carry out such acts. As well as the cynical and fatalistic ideas
that are presented to us through hpotgrpahy, also leave us with more opinions, prejudices
and ever growing fantasies. Whether this be for better or for worse, photography
still remains the medium in which gives fraudulently deceptive ideas towards
reality.

An artist who wants to use the platform
of photography and spectatorship to capture the essence of a contemporary society
is Daryna Barykina. Her series ‘bruised behind the mask’ observes domestic
abuse and explored how it is often disguised and masked but also how truly devastating
it can be in a modern world. She uses hpotgrpahy to create controversial images
that build and trigger conversation. Barykina uses photoshop and retouching
techniques to create the effect of in the mornings she  “glues” herself together almost and
at night there are even more broken pieces. This becomes a degrading cycle day
in and day out. By creating these images, the artist was able to herself
forward into raising awareness of these victims and being able to help and
support them. This proves that photography has impacted the art wold in the
sense that it gives people platforms to raise awareness for certain matters or subjects
such as domestic violence. I think a project like this would only have made
such impact with a camera as it causes emotional complexity and engages viewers
actively. 

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