What is “medium” actually ?

Has it something to do with “the media” like television, the press etc. ?

by Wolfgang Hock

There is a big dilemma with two-dimensional pictures:

On one side is the reality with its three dimensions (length, width and depth) – on the other side the picture with its two dimensions (length and width only, without depth).

So we cannot copy the reality by a two-dimensional picture, we can only try to get or create something equivalent, simulating the three-dimensionality (the space).

That’s the reason why two-dimensional pictures are always different from reality automatically, even making all effort and trying all details till the smallest ones.

Therefor so-called “naturalism” in painting is impossible, therefor documentary photography isn’t objective, therefor the highest definition of digital photography is always different than reality.

When we didn’t get accustomed yet to those technical innovations, we believe watching at reality itself. That’s the same with the 3-D-photography now of our days.

The medium is a translation in another two-dimensional picture reality, different in material (e.g. oil paint on canvas, ink on paper, digital inkjet print on paper etc.), space depiction and ‘picture language’ (= forming in colors, hard edged or more blurred, proportional or deformed etc.).

Through this translation, the content of the picture is changed, formed by human mind – mechanically or by hand.

It is a mistake to believe that something is formed by human mind only without the use of technical appliances and auxiliary devices. And vice versa is it also a mistake to believe that handiwork (handicraft and artisanry) is something ‘personal’ automatically.

On the first place is always the forming, after that is the content (motif, symbol, conceptual meaning etc.).

Producing pictures from prefixed conceptual meanings and categories (for example existing styles as surrealism or impressionism), you can reach mediocre illustrations only.

This all are simple things actually, but fundamental ones, almost nobody thinks about this. They guide us to another view on the world, different form that, what is imparted to us daily.