Discussion 2- ways of seeing Episode 1

In the “ways of seeing Episode 1” by John Berger, the author argues that what we see is conditioned by habits and conventions. As many people believe that seeing arts or something else is innate and impulsive; in the video Berger think that before or when seeing something, we arrange in our mind how we want this thing to be. That mean we don’t see art how it is, but we see it how we want it to be in in our reflection. When we see many arts or have some experiences in the artistic world, it can let us to arrange our imagination of seeing arts. Berger’s observation is very significant because we realize that for the same art, viewers can have different opinions or interpretations to the art. It depends what every viewer have arranged in his mind for that art.

According to Berger, camera has changed the way we see arts. Before the 1900 the event of camera, art can only see in one place at one time, they can be only in one room or in the museum or in a specific place. After the invention of the camera, we can use it to duplicate arts images or record any situation. The camera has also changed our engagement with works of art, some people think why spending hours to draw something if we can do it by simple click with the camera. Furthermore, we see that with the camera we can duplicate thousands of images as we want and we can be anywhere to see arts, it can be in our room, in our car etc. and at any time. But there is something unique that we can not find with the camera. Many people travel from their home to the museum to see the original art, they believe that camera cannot replace the authentic art (stillness and silence). In the screen, we see what it was arranged. That arrangement could be excessive or miss some important details of the art. To illustrate this fact, at the end of the video, Berger said that he hopes we will consider what he has arranged.

Reproduction of painting is a form of information because we can change or manipulate the meaning of the art. For example, in the video with the painting by Caravaggio; if we use Italian opera or religious choral, the meaning of the painting change. He said in the episode 1 that pictures can be uses as words and we can talk with them.