Photography, computers, art and men
In less than two centuries the technique has revolutionized the existence of human beings.
Transportation, technical and scientific possibilities and communications allow actions that no one could even imagine.
Who, in 1970, when computers were 10-door cabinets and worked with punch cards, could think of a world with the web, Google and Facebook? Just 50 years ago the most powerful computer was less capable than a smartphone today.
And we, exaggerations aside, are happy to enjoy the well-being and advantages that technology makes available to us: from increasingly sophisticated medical tools, to video calls now in real time with people in all corners of the earth, to the countless advances in all fields and sectors of human activities (agriculture, construction, industry, crafts, etc.).
Progress is fine and appreciated in every field, but not in art.
For some, art must be done as it was centuries ago.
How do we put it with Canaletto who used the optical camera? And Caravaggio with his mirrors? Is it possible to criticize Canova who had his statues made by skilled craftsmen?
Van Gogh, Degas, Toulouse Lautrec and hundreds of artists, as scholars Aaron Scharf or Van Deren Coke document, copied from prints and photos.
Do we want to accuse them of "transversal plagiarism"?
A special dispensation is in favor of architects, to whom no one reproaches the use of the PC for the design and least of all they are expected to construct a building without the use of other professionals and craftsmen.
Also for photography we have witnessed a controversy among "purists", who did not consider those who used digital cameras worthy of the qualification of photographer.
And what about the hyper-realists, whom a slice of the public unconditionally admires?
Generally they are photographed or filmed with a brush in hand while they retouch a droplet of water.
However, they hide computers, enlargers, plotters, photo-traces, etc., in order not to ruin the illusory magic of “handmade only”.
Progress runs faster than human minds which, in some cases, instead of admiring a beautiful and suggestive "Moon" stop… at the fingers with a brush.
Andrea Giuseppe Fadini