Friday, January 11, 2013

Jessop's still trading and #32 Empiricsm

Jessops -Still trading in Ealing 10th Jan 2013
I've been taking photo's since I was about 7 (Kodak box brownie to Canon Ixus 75 with lots of others in-between). At secondary school along with Tony Arnold and Nick Forbes I developed a real love of photography. My father too was always a keen photographer and with some kindness from my Uncle Harry (art editor at the Leicester Mercury at that time)  I  got various free film and flash bulbs/gun accessories.  When I lived in Wethersfield, Essex I used to print my own pictures using a Johnson's 'postcard enlarger which I used in my 'darkroom' (actually a former stable at our house). So What? Well I actually find the end of traditional photography epitomised by the slide of Jessop's into receivership rather sad - and not just because it brings back such memories for me. Photography was a craft and stories like this epitomise a romance that present photographs are unlike to elicit.
Happy days in the darkroom.
So much of what we (many of us anyway) is mediated by PC (or Mac) and we continue to lose the ability to understand and 'hack' what we use, the replacement of so much 'craft' to the digitized zeros and  ones is not without cost to our ability to engage in so many ways.
Idea 32 is Empiricism
 Empiricism is knowledge that is derived from experience  - Francis Bacon (1561-1626 and not to be confused with the 20th century artist of the same name) is a big name in Empiricism having been an advocate of empirical methods which was vindicated by overarching laws like those of Newton. Following Bacon Locke is considered the first Philosophical empiricist.  Locke is also famous for his thoughts around economics and 'value and price'.
Here's Stephen Fry talking about the E word