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COCU 100 Lecture Notes

COCU 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture What is culture o#1...

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Lecture: 3/29/11 What is culture? o #1 meaning from Dictionary.com – culture as the embodiment and enactment of discriminating taste, or as the tasteful object The quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for that which is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. (He is a person with culture; more common in verb form: He is a cultured person, a real gentleman) o The tasteful object That which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc. (I attended the lecture because I appreciate culture) o Culture as the appreciation and study of groups based on differences of ethnicity, nationality, geography, politics, or historical period A form or a stage of civilization of a nation or period (The physical anthropology class studied Mayan culture. The cultural anthropology class studied punk culture) Lecture: 3/31/11 Culture as Practice o “Culture in all its early uses was a noun of process: the tending of something, basically crops or animals.” – Raymond Williams, Culture, from Keywords Often involves tools and mediums Example: Fence as a tool of culture Keep people in and out Camera as tool, photography as cultural practice: Recording signs of past culture, past practice Photography as a process of observing and framing o Process: the act of taking something through an established and usually routine et of steps to convert it from one form to another o Practice: to do or perform habitually or customarily; the action or process of performing or doing something; a repeated performance for the purpose of acquiring a skill or making something materialize (a song, an image, an idea, a feeling)
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Photography as process and as practice of observing and interpreting the world Winogrand Photography o “Took but never saw” o Deliberately waited a year before developing rolls of film he shot, so no memory of act of taking photo Photography as process these days: fast, easy snapshots offering quick material products – instant images, instant news Culture as Practice and Process o Culture unfolds through the details of practice o Culture involves ‘cultivation’ (of land, of skill, of one’s “eye,” or taste) o Culture involves practice – repetition to gain skill or to repeat until habits form o Culture is borne out of habits that become rituals sand rules o Cultural practices PRODUCE something (goods and services; meaning and knowledge) o The PRODUCT (the image in this case) involves many phases of CONVERSION, is no one “thing” but many phases of material form and experience Photo culture now o “culture as process” is less evident, automated and embedded out of sight in the camera’s black box o Culture as a process of conversion Converting the process of ‘seeing’ through images to a process of feeling through images – Nadeem Haidary’s camera for the blind o Multiple levels of conversion Therese Brown converting a conventional photographic negative into a cyanotype
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COCU 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture What is culture o#1...

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