Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Slaves among slaves

Booker T. Washington was born into slavery but luckily for him he became free at the young age of nine years old. Unlike many slave Washington had the opportunity to attend a college. Through college he became a very well respected black educator to this day. He even was able to write and get publishing for two of his books. In 1901 that was a very big achievement for a previous slave, you know the percentage of slaves that was uneducated. As being a slave the “grape-vine” telegraphs that help keep the slaves informed about what was going on with the war and the end result if the north will the war and Lincoln become President. The way the slave would get information was when the slave master would send one of the slaves to the post office to receive the mail that came maybe twice a week. Once at the post office the slave would just hang around and listen to the white guys that would gather and talk and once the slave return he would let the other slave know what was going on, the information would go from one plantation to another that was the grape-vine telegraph.

F. Douglass Learning to read

I found that Frederick Douglass learning how to read in his slavery days is a testament that anyone can do anything as long as they put their all into it. After he was shipped to Baltimore, he was confused at everything that was around him. Douglass was a stranger and became a person who was consistently chased by others because of his birthplace. His new mistress Mrs. Auld, was very kind to him and read him the Bible and sang to him as well. He was determined to read and write because of her love and teachings towards him. Mr. Auld, her husband did not want him to learn to read write because he feared that Douglass would become powerful and learn to get his way out of the slave system. It took seven years for Douglass to learn how to read and write. Douglass can be an inspiration to African Americans because he teaches that through any ignorance, adversity can overcome it and a individual can achieve anything he wants in life through hard work and determination

KUDOS to Nicephore Niepce!

As an artist myself, I find it fascinating how photography came about and the evolution that it has went through. Early photography  was first discovered by Nicephore Niepce in 1829 and developed his first piece by making a sun burning of the landscape onto a sheet of metal by using chemicals to enhance the image. Newer photography today is taken with a high definition camera and digitally saved onto a computer chip. Photography then and now plays a huge part in the media because it gives the reader a stimulus to read more. Not only did the media benefit from this but also the artists painting portraits. The still photo technique called the "daguerrotypes" were used to have family or personal portraits done of the higher class and the aristocrats that wanted to be higher class. If a family wanted to get a portrait done of their family before, the would hire a paint artist to paint the family. But now this opened a whole new area for art and redefined what art was at this time. Through the growth of media however, is where photography really made its success happen. As an artist, this is when the art world was recognized as being more useful than just drawing doodles on canvas.

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Take a picture of me! It may be worth something someday!

The development of the photo has transformed the world as we know it. Without this technology we would still be viewing pictures with oil paintings. This meaning it would take a large amount of time and would be only available to the higher class. Much like any new technology the photo was not any different. It was a way to show people your status or style. For example,when people come into the homes of the rich they can see the display of the family portraits and how wealthy they truly are. "Photography was a new way to see the world." This is very much true because now an individual does not have to solely rely on his memory of a picture but now can capture it with a camera. It funny to realize how far the camera truly came.
Johann H. Schulze in 1727 was a German chemist who discovered that when he mixed chalk, silver and nitric acid it ultimately darken when it was exposed to sunlight. This meaning it was the first use of the photo. In addition, Thomas Wedgeprint used sun pictures on leather to display his photo. I found this to be quite interesting because leather seems to me to be a very non photogenic paper. The use of the camera's in today's world is absolutely a phenomenon. From its simplest forms of a family portrait at Sears or a photo shoot for celebrities. No matter who is taking the picture they all came from the same process. From Linear Prospective to taking pictures at the beach, wow what a transformation!

The Addition of Photograpy to Media

Photography forever altered what would eventually become know as the media. New innovations such as the camera obscura allowed newspapers to add a sense of credibility to their media because people had more than the word of the reporters to rely, there was actual evidence that people could examine eventually when techniques were developed to publish the actual photos. It led eventually to it's development into an art form, held in the same regard as painting and sculpting. Photography also led to the inevitable development of the motion pictures, and a whole industry grew out of that and continues to this day.It's long term effects might not be as obvious as say the printing press, but photography has played and continues to play a important role in our society.

Telegraph vs. Telephone

The telegraph was the first source of electronic communication. This was very helpful to society, because the amount of time it took for news to travel from one place to another was horrible". For example, it took news twenty days and two hours to travel from charleston, South Carolina to New york city in 1790. By 1841 it only took five and a half days to travel from washington D.C. to Boston. This new invention had help the lives of many people, and encourage the people to look forward towards new technology. with this new technology they could expand social connections, increasing the possibilities of association, exchange, and diffusion of information.
Although the Telegraph was a great invention, the telephone was an even better one. Unlike the telegraph the telephone could be owned and used in the privacy of your own home. Where the telegraph was most helpful in businesses, and was not really helpful to unemployeed people, or people who spent alot of time in their homes. Leaving the people the benefits of contacts and communication at all times, the people preferred the telephone over the telegraph.

Louis Daguerre

Louis Daguerre is known as one of the inventors of photography. Louis was in France on November 18, 1789. Louis began working and experimenting with the effects of light. He was fascinated by the discoveries he made. This led Louis to use a camera obscura as an aid to painting in perspective. As his research continued he realized that setting still objects were the best things to work with, since they did not move. Not long after, Louis meet Joseph Niepce another inventors of photography. They began to work together to improve upon the photography process Niepce had invented. “After several years of experimentation, Louis Daguerre developed a more convenient and effective method of photography, naming it after himself - the daguerreotype.” Some question his invention as an accident. But accident or not photography has made an enormous impact on our society.

The Public Portrait

If you went to your local newsstand today and picked up a magazine that normally deals with celebrity gossip and the Hollywood beat, chances are on the cover would be a large picture of some celebrity posing in such a way that makes them seem wealthy, noble, or just in a much higher class than you and I. This is of course because they are indeed wealthy and much higher class than you and I. The idea of these photographs and portraits that show off ones wealth and nobility however, is not a recent thing. This type of photography dates way back to about the nineteenth century. Back then, galleries would be filled with works of artists that portrayed Kings, Queens, and Nobles as extremely important people. Once again, this being of course because they were extremely important people. Portraits of these higher beings would show "the signs of greatness and character that these individuals stood for." The galleries that displayed these images "were introducing to Americans the beginnings of a culture of celebrity.." As we look around today, this culture has to an extent taken over society. I believe it is safe to say it has become an extremely large influence on the way most Americans, especially young adults, live their lives.

The Beginning of Photography

Photography had its beginning in 1839. From photography portraits became very popular. Oliver Wendell Holmes stated in his article, The Stereoscope and the Stereograph that, "The very things which an artist would leave out, or render imperfectly, the photograph takes infinite care with, and so makes the illusion perfect."
The private portrait usually involved a circle of family and friends. The painted portrait was not affordable to everyone, so the introduction of daguerreotype made it possible for the everyday man to have a portrait. It's stated in Presenting the Self that, The daguerreotype arrived with the promise of letting virtually everyone establish a visual self-image."
The daguerreotype portrait wasn't all great, people had discomfort in having to pose for long periods of time, and also having one's head fitted into an iron posing device. Making the portraits at time having a "startled" look.
"Photography was establishing a new standard for visual representation and posing questions for the future of painting."

The Art of War

The birth of World War 1 solidified the importance of telecommunication within our nation. Telecommunication played a vital role in in strategic military communication as well as the rapid spread of public awareness. While World War 1 did not mark the beginning of mass propaganda, the war definitely turned the technique into a driving force for, "a far more substantial enterprise, aimed at mobilizing a state's own citizens, demoralizing the enemy, and swaying the public in neutral countries." Perhaps the most vital development in the early stages of telecommunication that derived from World War 1 was the development of air to ground communication. This form of telecommunication allowed early U.S. militants to perform such tasks as spotting enemy planes, and advancements later down the line soon allowed troops to locate, target u-boats and other water based vessels.

Portraits... a lot more complicated than they look...

In today's day and age, it seems very simple to have a portrait of yourself or others taken in an instant. With the technology available today it is a simple as a pose and a click of a button on the newest digital camera. These cameras do everything from centering the picture to cropping and editing with the click of a few buttons. What many eople do not think about though is about the time before digital cameras. So what exactly did early portraits look like? How were they done? and of course to whom were they available to?
Portraits first came about with the invention of the daguerreotyped plate form of photography. Although this was the earliest form of photography, and the exposure and resolution were not of the highest quality, it gave a more detailed and direct picture than a picture that was painted by human hands. These portraits however were not originally taken of people. According to Miles Orwell in his article " Presenting the Self" he states that "Initially, given the long exposure time required to take an image, the subject had to be immobilized, and so buildings and other stationary objects proved to be most cooperative; but as the chemistry and techniques improved(...) it became possible to make images of the human subject" This advance in the time of exposure gave way to what was known as the " private portrait".

These private portraits were the ones that were available to the general public. Before the invention of the photographs such as the daguerreotype, only painted pictures were available. These painted pictures took a large chunk of time and were very expensive. The invention of the photograph allowed working class families to afford pictures, rather than having to splurge on the very expensive painted portraits. Some of thee studios would charge around 50 cents an image, and even if the pictures were small, citizens still valued and cherished these pictures. After reading through a lot of information on these early pictures, I have come to greatly appreciate the simplicity and quality of digital cameras. Here is something now to think about the next time you whip out a digital camera or picture phone.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Telephone

When it comes to the telephone, in 1831, the principles of electricity required to produce it, were around. Finally, in 1876 the telephone arrived. Electricity was the most current technology of the 1870’s. Similar to the present day internet, it drew in smart people like Alexander Graham Bell, who was just 29 years old, in 1876, when he invented the telephone. The United States passed a bill in 2002 saying Antonio Meucci invented the telephone. This was obviously quite a controversial issue.
Tom Farley's Telephone History Series
Inventing the Telephone
Invention of the telephone

“From its inception, Bell had shown no interest in developing telephones in rural areas, and though the independent telephone companies were more likely to serve rural needs, they were also ambivalent about a market that they viewed as likely to be unprofitable and vexatious.” Around 1912, 30% of farms had a telephone. Many of the farms in America were large and widely spread out. This huge distance between farms seemed to make the telephone more important to have. This way the farmers could get prices and order new supplies. The farmers also used the telephone to get the most recent weather reports. As a result out in the Midwest developed a bustling telephone service.

Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media, pgs. 201-203

Photographic History

In the mid 1800’s photography was advance by several innovations. During this time there were three types of photographis methods that were being utilized, the Daguerreotype, Ambrotype and Tintype. The Daguerreotype was categorized as the first photographic process to be developed. In this process one of a kind images were made on silver plates coated with copper. Once the image was complete it was covered by glass. This type of photographic picture was the rage until the mid 1800’s.

After that time the Ambrotypes became more popular. In this method a glass negative is created. When the negative is placed against the background of the Ambrotype the image could be seen. Ambrotypes were cheaper to produce then the Daguerreotypes. The Ambrotypes were then replaced by the Tintype and other processes.

Looking at one’s image as an object to contemplate, or offering it for others to view, one might easily gain the illusion that the individual was indeed a coherent entity, for what one saw was taken not simply as a record of appearance but as a symbol of the inner self

What all these methods allowed over time was a cheap way to produce an image or portrait. Over 90% of the people posing for these photographs viewed them as a class signifier. If you were able to get your picture taken, it signified that you were in a higher class and that you enjoyed some social status. Daguerreotypes open up to the emerging middle class the ability to have a portrait taken which was once reserved only for elite aristocrats who could sit for a long time and pay for a painted portrait. The Daguerreotype allowed a middle class person to sit for 30 seconds, pay $1.50 and have an immediate portrait for them to show others. This gave that middle class person the illusion that he or she was part of the elite class, a class with cultural power, a class on the rise.

Photography Makes Art a Lost Form

The origins of photogrophy were within paintings and art. Before the actual image of a photograph was ever seen. While the invention of photography and its uses were not only amazing, but important, both in history and through today. It is still to be noted that technology like this has caused art, in particular paintings to become a lost "art," no pun intended. The great artists of the past are house hold names, Michaelangelo, Leonardo DaVince, etc. Can anyone really name a true artist today? A Famous painting from the last twenty years? The answer to that is No. I can't realy determine whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but while Photography is a good thing, nobody really considers lost parts of life, some beatiful thigns, we will never see because people will no longer paint when there is no money in that, while ther eis plenty of cash in pressing a button and seeing an image digitally.

Camera Obscura

In Use of the Camera Obscura the author states, " From this circumstance, the utility of placing such apparuatus in all places of public amusement and exhibitison, must be obvious. Whether it might be proper to erect it in the streets of a populous city like this, and to place it under the inspection of an officer for the detection of mischief and crime, is a matter worthy of the consideration of the local authorities." This means a a newer technology for the camera was something that was well needed. If the camera was able to capture the pick pocketer out of a crowd, then imagine what else it could do. The authorities would be able to have so much more control the towns.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

barry bonds

Barry bonds was found not guilty to four counts of perjury and one count of obstructing justice in the San Francisco, U.S. district court. The charges come from the year 2003 when Bonds denied that he used performance enhancing substances. If he was convicted he could of spent at least two years in prison. I feel that this is relevant because the world of sports is always using some kind of steriods or drugs that would give sports players more energy then they would normally have. --- A. myrick