Save Gas ! - 1940
I’ve been thinking broadly about media criticism. There’s this idea with things like, say, music, that criticism doesn’t really hold any value; that all that matters is if you like the piece.
I think the difference is between multimedia and “single media.” With single media, although you can judge technique and ability in relation to the complexity of a piece, an orchestral piece or painting or such, enjoyment is purely subjective; either you find them pleasant and rewarding, or grating and annoying. By entering multimedia, combined media, the two or more elements, put together, provide a context for the work. Here, I’m meaning any mix of two or more art forms. Film is obviously a multimedia form; poetry is single, but spoken poetry is multi because the performance, the placement of emphasis or a visual element to the poetry, adds context. I would even go as far to say that a description accompanying and explaining the goals and purpose of a painting is multimedia, in a sense, because the description adds context.
With context, you have a framing point to discuss effectiveness. Multimedia adds convergence points where the works complement one another. It’s still not an objective analysis or criticism, it’s still opinion to a degree; but it is an informed, supported opinion, by identifying the strengths and weaknesses in the bonds between works. You have more to focus on than the talents of an artist in a single artform.
This comes into Gesamtkunstwerk, Total Art; which I believe attempts to achieve the greatest bonds, quality and quantity, between works, into a cohesive piece. Is it too much to ask that multimedia strives to make the most of its pieces?
MASTER OF PHOTOMONTAGE BY JERRY UELSMANN
Detroit-born, Florida-based renowned photographer Jerry Uelsmann has been manipulating photos long before Photoshop transformed the world of photography. The skilled and diligent creative has produced remarkably believable surreal landscapes by hand in the dark room.
Christian Brown on the unique power of video games.(via thisistheverge)