Handmade Waving

if art is only that which is made by hand, what is made of art.

If art is only made by hand, that leaves us with only waving our hands about in the air. Art is more than a gesture. Striking the work of the machine, even the algorithmic machine means we can do nothing but point and mime.

We enter this strange trap by way of online photographers asserting that their devotion is more genuine than another’s; that the darkroom is the only true light. The glow of the safelight is safe assurance of art being made.

They have discovered the argument lodged against the original camera, the original machine of artistic fraud. They don’t notice the trap of their own devices, their own barriers to fuller realization. One artist’s limit is another’s muse.

Chemical engineering, optics and emulsion are no more liberating to all than is sensor and software inhibiting to all. Neither path is the exclusive path – one true path, since the path is just a metaphor, not even an icon.

original sin of photography is that it isn’t handmade so must remain the hand maiden of art

if the handmade is a requirement, how far down the tortoise stack do you go before giving up on the requirement to make your ingredients, or is it “turtles all the way down” the rabbit hole?

Others hold that the earth has nine corners by which the heavens are supported. Another disagreeing from these would have the earth supported by seven elephants, and the elephants do not sink down because their feet are fixed on a tortoise. When asked who would fix the body of the tortoise, so that it would not collapse, he said that he did not know. – Charpentier, ‘A Treatise on Hindu Cosmography from the Seventeenth Century’