Decoration or Poetry


Calling photographs “poetic” has its dangers. Some words have been hijacked and are difficult to set free again. “Beauty”, for example, seems to exist mostly in advertisement and or in combination with the female form. As in beauty pageant.

The same has, unfortunately, happened to “poetic” and “lyrical”, too.

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Book Launch: Mountains of the Sea

2016-09-26-Porkkala-0041.jpgIn an earlier post I mentioned my upcoming exhibition in Helsinki. So if you are around here on Sept. 12 at 17h drop in at the Laterna Magica Gallery in Helsinki, Rauhankatu 7.

But earlier I also promised to tell more about the project that led to the exhibition and, in addition, I am proud to announce publication of the accompanying book. So, here we go:

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Symbols versus Representation

2017-08-26-Evo-0371.jpgA while ago I mentioned that are ways to extend the meaning of a picture beyond its obvious content.  In providing certain clues, which I called “trigger information”, the artist hopes that the viewers mind will do the rest of the work by unfolding new layers of meaning to the picture. Symbols are one of the better known types of such trigger information.  Some of them are so strong that we quite automatically expand their underlying meaning in our mind. In the Western world, at least, the cross as symbol for Christianity has such an effect. While, therefore, symbols can be incredibly powerful, there are problems, too.


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Things – A Discourse in 3 Cups of Coffee

But in physics, it’s dangerous to assume that things ‘exist’ in any conventional sense. Instead, the deeper question is: what sorts of processes give rise to the notion (or illusion) that something exists?

Karl Friston


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Timelapse of a budding plant merged into one photo. (c) 2017 Dietmar Tallroth

A Western school of thinking from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus to the English mathematician and philosopher Alfred N. Whitehead (1861-1947) has maintained the idea that reality is better viewed and understood in terms of processes than in terms of substance, objects and things. This school, loosely termed “process philosophy” has implications on visual art, so let’s have a look.


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The Discovery of Slowness

2017-07-05-Höga Kusten-0397.jpgWhen the novel by Sten Nadolny with the same title as this post first was published in 1983, slowness was still mostly a synonym for mental retardedness. The value of slowness indeed needed discovery. Since then slow has become hip. We have a slow movement encompassing slow food, Cittaslow, slow parenting, slow gardening and even slow fashion. And, of course, we have slow photography.

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