Nicolas Poussin, Burial of Phocion (1648) with commentary

Landscapes and the Kodak Moment

Project Spring 2000
(for Spring 2002 assignment)

In groups of two or three students, construct a web site that displays the picturesque aesthetic and its discontents by responding to the following prompts:

1. What is the connection between the picturesque and Kodak's way of seeing?  How do they share in Cartesian Perspectivalism (as explained by Martin Jay)?  How is this view of optics reflected in their aesthetics?

2. Show how some Romantic texts comply to and others defy the picturesque and Cartesian perspectivalism (as discussed by Labbe).

3. Take landscape photos and show how these images work in relation to the above questions.

4. You must include quotes and formative discussion of the following:
Four of the theorists Jay, Burke, Gilpin, Galassi, Labbe and Kodak web site.
Three of the authors William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Clare, and Smith.


Site Design

Images: Take snap shots that you think meet Burke and/or Gilpin's aesthetic and are in line with Kodak's guidelines for taking pictures.   Scan these images and put them on your web site along side your verbal text.  You can also include images from the Romantic period (or any other images you find) that fit this aesthetic.   Then, in working against the picturesque, show photos that don't match the Gilpin and Kodak's aesthetic.  Explain why the images defy the picturesque.

Links: Think of the links as part of your argument.  Use multiple links per page--some links complementing the picturesque and others working against it.  For example, a singular word "overview" at the top of the web page with a link to an overview would comply with Cartesian Perspectivalism. A link at the bottom of the page that promises "a closer look" might lead to an anti-picturesque page.  The word "motion" could lead to a blurred image and a discussion of the singular point in time system used by Descartes, Burke, and Gilpin.

Text: The font color, placement of text, and font style all contribute to your argument.  You can shift between formal and informal fonts or use different colors to designate different discourses (aesthetic vs. anti-aesthetic) or different speakers (Burke, Gilpin, Jay, Labbe, you).  You can use different background colors to designate different optical perspectives (overview as blue, eye level as green, ground view as brown) or different opinions.

Length: Your project web site should be 1,500-2,000 words with at least ten images (some contemporary, including ones you've taken yourself, and some by "classical" artists) distributed over 12-18 documents.

Due Dates: Class discussion  and due date  Feb. 16th
Some student projects