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The Camera's Gaze


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THE CAMERA AS A SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT

This is another selection from the soundtrack for "Trafficking in Reality," the documentary (still in production) that explores ethical issues of documentary filmmaking. Among those issues is the effect of the camera itself upon reality, how the camera imposes itself, literally, between filmmaker and subject.

As we know now, the camera's images can be manipulated to alter and construct a view of reality that is very subjective. But In the early years of photography, the camera was viewed not as a new tool for artistic expression, but instead as a scientific instrument. In 1837, M. Francois Arago hoped to persuade the French government to purchase Daguerre’s photographic patents as a gift to the world. In the Chamber of Deputies, Rep. Arago stressed the scientific uses of the camera for accurate copies of hieroglyphics, and for physicists and meteorologists. Arago expected the camera to join the thermometer, barometer, telescope, microscope and hygrometer as the latest of scientific instruments. The Encyclopedia Française makes a similar case: “The photographic plate does not interpret. It records. Its precision and fidelity cannot be questioned.” Brian Winston, in an essay for Michael Renov’s 1993 book, Theorizing Documentary, points to the “powerful argument, grounded in centuries of modern scientific inquiry, for seeing the camera as no more and no less than a device for representing the world of natural phenomena.”

The music in this piece will accompany images in the documentary that illustrate the history of the camera, and the effects of the camera's "gaze" on representations of reality in documentary films.


I know - Z-z-z-z-z. Enjoy the piece!

p.s. "The Camera's Gaze" is based on a piece I posted on MacJams almost 3 years ago exactly called "Revolving Door."
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Uploaded: Jun 30, 2008 - 08:41:39 PM
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2008 - 09:04:10 PM Last Played: Sep 04, 2017 - 09:31:24 AM
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Comments
Feter said 3434 days ago (June 30th, 2008)
The Camera's Gaze
the electric piano sounds help alot jumpin
back and forth from black and white into colorfull
images and its definetly genious and dreamy
kind of music ..very well arranged .at some point
when the bass join was so just in time ..
great production ..thnx alot for sharin such work !!!
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Bubowski said 3434 days ago (July 1st, 2008)
Very nice...
minimalist treatment. Reminds me a lot of the early minimalist stuff that came from Terry Riley. Nicely arracnged and produced; should work well with the subject matter of the documentary.

--Graham
Check out my latest song called Drumbeats off Jupiter
said 3434 days ago (July 1st, 2008)
Nice!
Very nice track.. cool work on a lovely composition!

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
Warren Smith said 3434 days ago (July 1st, 2008)
soundtrack
It's hard to comment on this piece's success as a soundtrack without seeing the video that goes with it, but then we have long been listening to soundtracks as pieces of music independent of the visual images they were written to accompany. As a stand-alone piece it seems to work just fine, with plenty of peaks and valleys to explore ... and scenic vistas to photograph.

Your documentary sounds involved and interesting. What software are you using to make it - Final Cut and GarageBand?

It's funny how in all of those really old pictures nobody is smiling and the idea transmitted is those folks took life more seriously than "us" or perhaps life was just grim. Then you learn the reason they aren't smiling is because they simply couldn't hold a smile over the long exposure time required to make the pictures ... and the joke is on us : >
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Ed Hannifin said 3431 days ago (July 4th, 2008)
Gosh, Tom...
Your write-up reminds me very much of debates we used to have in journalism school at BU back in the Seventies. The objective versus the subjective...Debates that also cropped up in psychology and counseling training much later on... What did you see, exactly? What did you really hear? Are you sure? And exercises to demonstrate how easily our own eyes and ears are fooled, let alone anything we use to 'strengthen' them. Ultimately I came to perceive that we are by nature subjective beings...

I could well imagine this music accompanying a "slide show" portion of the documentary...

You continue to show a remarkable facility for being minimal, simple and cyclical, without being just repetitive, boring or stupid.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
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Name: Tom Atwood
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I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

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