And then there's Brad. Brad Feuerhelm. Is he a robot, an industry in-joke I don't get? Or is he a real person? If real, is he some lunatic living in a cabin in the woods with 200 cats and a half tonne of meth? Or is he actually a real industry person that people take seriously? The last is what appears to be the case, but I am starting to question it. He's written most recently on something something Dorothea Lange. I honestly didn't get past the first paragraph, but he seems to be talking, as everyone else is, about "recently unearthed works" by Lange. I don't really care. Lange is fine, but dredging through people's castoffs is not a particularly interesting passtime.
Here's the first paragraph, though. Three sentences. I'm pretty sure that what he's trying to say here is when we look at pictures taken some time ago, we see them in new ways. Let us take a few minutes to mock the idiotic word salad he has produced instead.
History generally presents itself to the future in visual terms that signify the distance between the two points of time from its creation and its re-purposing and its re-examination. The fallacy in photographic terms of historical representation and its distribution of intent are intertwined between reason and audience over the passing of linear and political time. Time and the changes that govern its passing, in ideological order or other affect the way in which we unpack or re-evaluate the historical image.
Let's take a shot at making sense of this shit. First sentence:
History generally presents itself to the future in visual terms that signify the distance between the two points of time from its creation and its re-purposing and its re-examination.
Dropping some adverbs and adjectives, just try to get a handle on the subject/verb/object business, I think the sentence comes out as:
History presents itself to the future in terms that signify the distance between two points of time.
Obviously History does not actually present itself so we ought to read this idiomatically, in the sense that we, in the future, do or will see history, do or will understand history, in this way. What way?
Backing up we see this phrase: in visual terms. Does this mean that we understand history in visual terms? Or does it mean that, while we understand history in many ways, the visual terms are the ones Brad would like to discuss? It's anybody's guess! He's made such a hash out of his lede that you can't tell! Whichever it is, the visual terms are the ones we're apparently interested in
Whatever the status of the visual terms on which, through which, we understand history in the future, those terms apparently signify something. What?
the distance between the two points of time from its creation and its re-purposing and its re-examination.
To be honest, it's not clear that its even has an antecedent here, but the only candidate in play is History so let us proceed on that basis. History's creation I guess is... when the stuff happened? And the other point in time is when History gets re-purposed and re-examined.
Ok, so guess we can assume that some history is re-examined or re-purposed some time after it happens? But isn't that kind of.. always? I'm pretty sure Brad means now here, or, whatever time we look at pictures from the past and attempt to make sense of them. The gap he is lugubriously laboring toward is, likely, the gap between then and now.
So the claim is that, the visual terms on which we understand history somehow signify that gap, that interval between then and now? Or whatever the interval Brad means is?
This is just gibberish. It sounds erudite and so on, but when you actually attempt to force the sentence to mean something, it simply falls apart into meaningless garbage.
Onwards. Sentence #2, my favorite sentence:
The fallacy in photographic terms of historical representation and its distribution of intent are intertwined between reason and audience over the passing of linear and political time.
Again, let us start be clearing the modifiers away to get to the skeleton of the sentence. The verb is are intertwined which is plural, but the subject appears to simply be a fallacy, which is singular. It's possible we're looking at a grammatical error, and the sentence parses as:
The fallacy are intertwined between reason and audience.
Or possibly the fallacy and the distribution are together the subject:
The fallacy and its distribution of intent are intertwined between reason and audience.
I guess the latter might be the idea here? So the fallacy of historical representation, and the distribution of its intent (I have no idea what the antecedent of its is here, it could be goddamn near anything — fallacy, distribution, and representation are all in play) are two things, which are intertwined between two other things. Is this some sort of net suspended between reason and audience? This visual makes no sense.
Apparently this happens over the passing of time, but not merely time, two different kinds of time. The linear, and the political.
Ok, so, pretty sure this one is just gibberish too. Again, any kind of examination of what it actually means causes it to collapse sobbing in a pile of ambiguous antecedents and verbs in vain search of a subject. Even after you shotgun-marry pronouns to antecedents and verbs to subjects, it still comes out as something are intertwined between something (else?) over the passing of time which doesn't actually mean anything. Does one even intertwine between things?
Sentence three, the home stretch:
Time and the changes that govern its passing, in ideological order or other affect the way in which we unpack or re-evaluate the historical image.
Time and changes affect the way we unpack or re-valuate the image.
We could be looking at a singular subject and a plural verb, yielding Time affect the way we unpack etc but let us generously assume the Brad has matched his plural verb with a plural subject. Don't worry, it doesn't help to assume the other way around (try it if you like!)
I have no idea what the changes that govern its (Time's?) passing might even be. Doesn't time just kind of... go? Without a lot of governance? What on earth is supposed to be in ideological order or other I have no idea. The changes are possible, but also this prepositional phrase could be modifying the governence itself. Either the changes are in order, or the the way the changes govern the passing of time take place under the aegis of ideological order (or other). There's no way to know.
This one, while grammatically a mess, does seem to be desperately trying to convey meaning, to wit, Time changes the way we interpret pictures.
So, 2.5 for 3. Way to go, Brad.
And now you know why I didn't make it past the first paragraph.