This is a post about the manipulation of reality. No, it is not about Photoshop.
I was recently invited to showcase my work at a site proclaiming to promote art. The first thing I noticed as I brought up the page is that it was divided into “Artists” and “Photographers.” When I inquired with the site owner about photographers also being artists, his response was that the separation was for ease of navigation. Navigation, it seems, is more important than decades worth of struggle by photographic artists for the legitimacy of their work.
The site was not alone, though. Try looking for books on Amazon.com and you will find a category for “Arts & Photography.” Barnes & Noble goes further by separating “Art, Architecture & Photography.” Even a site entirely dedicated to art, such as Fine Art America makes references to “Artists/Photographers”.
Why single out photographers, as distinct from other artists (or from any artists)? Why such ingrained institutionalized discrimination?
Famed author Philip K. Dick said that “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.”