Within the action of describing an image, the ways in which hue, value, form can become victim to the leaps of mind where a personal effort to mine these fields are abandoned before they are investigated. In cultures which promote happiness, lightness, brevity and efficiency, the forms which promote introspection, dialogue, value creation or deconstruction and construction, intentionality and tenderness are too easily made a pushed paint into language which does not inherently define the qualities within a visual image, but rather indicate a thought pattern arising in people viewing images.
In photography, there is a term called “image latency” or “the latent image.” Few thought steps must be taken to connect the function of the memory and photography. And so photography has been described the art form of the mind, and in some cases images can become psychologized sites, and in a historic lineage of psychology studies, then the step towards pathologizing images comes into dialogue. Photography can also be a language of the body.
But first, in addressing a mindless thought circuit of self-repeating feedback loops, self-affirming values, in the bright, sharp, vibrant colors are determined as “lively” characters in the cultural language defining social actions of happiness, lightness, brevity and efficiency. This reflexive, cognitive bias, of agreeing with ourselves without pause, agreeing with our counterparts without pause, and skipping onto the next task of busy-ness, begins (in quite a short order) to feel hollow, empty-setting forth a quest for meaning or way to content with this void carved out within our bodies. This void seeks fulfilment by the means in which our eyes are promised fulfilment. As a child learns where a reliable food sources, originate from, grown bodies are learned where reliable forms of confirmation bias originate from. This social landscape often referred in language today as “the people” or “common folk” or “the mainstream” can be found hanging well beyond any impulse to attempt to join a different wave of dialogue, and that being the critical dialogue.
Criticism can feel destructive. And such critique can undermine the petri conditions which grow insularity, narcissism, fear and other non-generative forces. This sort of counter-intuitive application of conversation a sort of tending soil, muddying or crapping up, which in turn can be understood in the value of manure toward the outcome of grown food.
And so it is with the image, we can begin to look at what we are looking at, how we are looking at, and begin to practice ways at looking into, looking through and image, and finding where it touches and reaches inside of us. What are the values? Notions about darkness can be useful to mine, for it is in such dark matters, the very material values sensationalised are formed. Darkness offers comfort, introspection, and a softening space for vulnerability. In this space, the language of the image as a mind-art, can join with the language of a body-art, or more totally-a human art of which mind and body are not dualistically opposed but rather one and of the same.
That which is referred to as “just”, as in “just another photo of…” or “just what was there…” signals a failure not of the image, but rather of the people forgoing the opportunity to connect with the physicality within themselves. This physicality within the personal body, the generative force which signals the fall from getting caught-up, to remaining right down here, begins a revaluation of ways of living which rely upon forces people complain as absent (such as compassion and the deeply cared for and considered). Yet such forces remain readily available for all those who wish to claim such choices.