Saturday, March 12, 2005

Photo? Video? Ice Sculpture?

I hear a lot of people claim they live in the moment. When I hear this I often wonder if they really know what they are talking about - live in the moment... for the moment.
What moment?
And, after the "moment" is that it? The moment never to be revisited or called to mind? Never to have a high enough value that it is worth recalling, remembering, reliving?
The ice sculpture soon melts, gone forever. Unless, of course, it was captured on film or memory chip, or videotape.
On film that sculpture can be captured forever in all its frozen glory. Its once wonderful, glistening detail can be reaffirmed at a glance...
...a memory of what once was and is no more.
Another photo can freeze the results of its demise, capturing virtually forever that melted masterpiece's remains - what was and is no more, but for the photograph, the memory.
Yes, photography captures the moment doesn't it?
But video, ah yes, video captures the event, the passage, the occurrence, the story like nothing photography could hope to achieve. The video of that melting ice sculpture can be long, excruciatingly boring; like real time.
Or, in the hands of a talented editor, the passage of time, while depicting the painful passage from reflective, diamond-like art to nothing more than a puddle awaiting the cleanup crew, can be a beautiful thing. There's a story here. Is the story of the ice sculpture reflective of the story of the marriage celebration where it gave its life?
Like the sculpture, will the wedding and reception that followed, the marriage that resulted, soon melt away into nothing?
A pause for thought, huh?
Can the photographs do that? After a fashion. Say, one of the sculpture's delivery - solid, hard, defined. Another of the sculpture sweating out its midlife, rivulets cutting lines into its once solid facade. Then a photo of its half-life, less than it was, still showing some of what it must have been, a series of moments rapidly fading. A final photo of the puddle, nothing to reflect on what that shapeless body of water had once been.
Sure, photos can do that, leaving much of it to the mind to recall.
But video, ah yes, video captures every moment, every fading of reflective glory. It conveys passage of time in a reality show. The drops move, the ice diminishes, the shape of things change until there remains only that body of water. Music enhances, highlights the event, underscoring a change from something to nothing.
What do most care?
They, after all, live for the moment, in the moment.
Like the marriage.
Life would, then, have to be a series of moments to live for, live in. Something a mere photograph cannot convey, provide.
Video is more about life, what it was, what it is, what it has become.
It is more artistic than a painting, more reminiscent than a photograph.
After the event, the video remains.
But what of the ice sculpture? the wedding? the marriage?

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