Comparing life drawing to nude photography shows overlaps and contrasts. A major difference is the cultural privileging of drawing, painting and sculpture in the expression of an artists subjectivity from the point of view of the art public and art historical institutions. A collection of figure drawing can span from cave art to the present, with 40,000 years of temporality.

     Photography is a new medium, and although it has replaced the functionality of art, the historicity of drawing and painting remains. This does not deny the potency of photography's own modern history as an art medium, the revolutionary impact of imaging technology, the visual technical interface, information networks, and computer processing on contemporary cultural expression of the figure going foreword. 

     Due to its success, photography's historicity is guaranteed in time. Problematically, the technology of photography quicly evolves until its product is so removed from it's roots, it is no longer in the same practice. Currently photography is being democratized by the widespread use of accessible high quality smartphone cameras and social media, such as Instagram, on servers and fibre bandwidths with large capacities. The necessity of a fine art practice comes into question, with a global flood of images. Google images makes travel photography almost unnecessary.

     Privileging one image over many others has little meaning if every image survives indefinitely in a virtual cloud server backup, retrieved in a moment with #tagging and Google search engines on one’s mobile device over coffee. 

     The traditional museums highlighting function is now disabled. Why build an expensive civic buiiding to privalege a select few artefacts, when the world outside the msueums stillness flows on. 

     Miss Elizabeth looks up at Mr. Darcy’s noble marble bust, brightened by the heavenly skylight above. In awe, her frustrated hypergamy tingles, thinking of the easy riches such privilege brings.  No such tingle is possible when such artefacts are commonly avaiable. 

© Gary G. Erickson 2016