Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Infinite Monkey Theorem Photograph

The Infinite Monkey Theorem states that a monkey hitting a typewriter randomly ad infinitem eventually will write the works of Shakespeare. Well, there are much better odds that given a camera, it will take a great photograph.

Here is as good example as any, not by a monkey, but by my ex-boyfriend. He took this image of some tourists in the National Gallery Cafe in London on his iPhone. Ok, so i am still a little bitter but comparing him to a monkey might be a little insensitive.

He's a gardener actually and like many people loves modern art photography, it has seeped into the consciousness of all of us. Did he know this was a great photograph when he saw them? What is the criteria that defined this moment enough for him to look up from his lemon drizzle cake and want to record it?

I immediately recognised this image as valuable to me and I have entered this on his behalf to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2012. It will be judged equally along side thousands of other works including my own and it deserves a chance at a little spot on the wall of the National Portrait Gallery, it is a discussion on what photography is now.

Often the barometer of greatness is the recognition of something we have seen before. Hence, the broader our frame of reference, the better chance we have of recognising true works of value. Without it, we only respond to the everyday common demoninators of image making. The challenge is to take an image of value to ourselves and leave the definition of greatness to others. Good Luck.
Tourists, National Gallery Cafe, London 2012 © Nathan Roberts

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