Reading Response #1 – Holly Brodowski

John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing” aims to explain the interaction between humans and what we “see.” I put see in quotations because as Berger explains in the excerpt, “the way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe. Berger also describes how technology, specially the invention of the camera, affects the way we “see.” He states that “the camera isolated momentary appearances and in so doing destroyed the idea that images were timeless…The visible came to mean something different to them.” I am not very into (or talented at) photography, but I do love filmmaking. I have made little films my entire life, but only started studying and taking it seriously in high school. When I began studying filmmaking and learning about composition, lighting, movement, etc, I also learned about the power of perspective. How what one person sees can be completely changed by a film and a different perspective.

In reference to paintings, Berger states that “it (the painting) could never be seen in two places at the same time. As a result, its meaning changes. Or, more exactly, its meaning multiplies and fragments into many meanings.” I do feel that there is a certain prestige and importance of the ‘original.’ But the sharing of that artwork outweighs any prestige that ever existed. It can reach many more and can be interpreted more than ever imagined. What is art if not to be appreciated and shared?