Yesterday I spent some time in downtown Tampa. The first two views are of downtown from the park between the Art Museum and the Museum of Photographic Arts. The third is of the newly opened section of the riverwalk along the Hillsborough River from the same park.
Merleau-Ponty wrote: "the world is around me, not in front of me." I take this to mean that we always find ourselves living our lives in a world which is in reality a web of interconnectivity, not in a world of subjects and objects (contra Descartes). Thus we are connected to everything, not separated from an "external" world. We are (always already) in the world and cannot not be in that world.
I've been (re)reading Merleau-Ponty on perception, especially the artist's perception. Following are some quotes (from "Cezanne's Doubt" and from "Eye and Mind")"
"The artist is the one who arrests the spectacle in which most men take part without really seeing it and who makes it visible to the most 'human' among them . . . The painter recaptures and converts into visible objects what would, without him, remain walled up in the separate life of each consciousness: the vibration of appearances which is the cradle of things."
" painting . . . gives visible existence to what profane vision believes to be invisible . . . This philosophy . . . is what animates the painter . . . in that instant when his vision becomes gesture . . "
I think it fair to say that what he says about painting could be said of photography too, at least of some photography (he would disagree). And I am reminded of a seminar I once took part in where we spent several weekly sessions on one sentence in Merleau-Ponty's book. In exasperation, one participant (who couldn't understand the passage) said, well, I didn't know it took conversion to understand it. At the time, I (and several other participants--it was a seminar full of tension) were somewhat defensive (and quietly, I suppose, derisive). Now I wish I had said: Exactly!! You have to see the world differently to understand and that does take conversion.
All of this is another way of understanding what I try to do in my own photographic work. Notice how the colored image above "reveals" in a different way what is shown in another way in the black and white image next to it.
"I began to see that hope, however feeble its apparent foundation, bespeaks allegiance to every unlikely beauty that remains intact on Earth." David James Duncan
I went to the Dali museum here in town yesterday. They have an exhibit of some of daVinci's work and its influence on Dali. I found the daVinci work quite interesting and I often find the architecture of the museum (especially its interior) also quite interesting. So, for something completely different, here are a couple of images reworked in what one of my software programs calls a "daVinci" filter: