Word of the Day

Objective seemed to have been the word of the day last Tuesday because It was being thrown around in class during our lecture, but in all honesty, I didn’t understand what the word meant. I wasn’t aware of the literal definition of the word and so when we were discussing Description and Interpretation in our class lecture, I was a little confused because of my vague idea of what it meant in accompaniment with description. To describe a person, place, etc. in an objective manner would be with little personal association as possible, but to completely achieve that would be similar to the concept of Innocent Criticism as we learned in lecture. Which may not be a hundred percent achievable because of our inability to not feel any emotion. In order to accurately describe without any positive or negative notion, we’d have to limit ourselves which I think is very interesting.

It’s vexing to try to describe what you see without any personal depth to it. It’s of the utmost importance to try and relay what was seen to someone without giving an opinion to influence whomever is reading the review, but it has a natural partner in that what we see may have a purpose: the interpretation. Interpretation and evaluation follow after, but that comes hand in hand naturally as it was quoted o being the outcome of description feeding as the foundation to interpretation. It refined my understanding and my writing to think more thoroughly about how I construct my essays as well as remain heavily conscious of my audience.

-Rebecca Alvarado



  1. I thought the idea of “innocent criticism” was so interesting. At the beginning of the lecture, I was operating under the idea that, yes, you can be wholly objective, if need be. But as we dived deeper into this idea of objectivity and innocent criticism, and if such a thing is even possible, my mind was changed. Like Barthes said, “one cannot judge without some previous idea…”, everything is being filtered through your mind; your individual experience and that in and of itself will inform how you think and write about something. Proving ultimate objectivity void.

    -Hannah Jones


  2. I’m with Hannah. At the first of class, I was completely on board with the concept of “innocent criticism”. As we began to describe what it would be like to use in practice, we describe a more and more improbable technique of description. Maybe it is totally possible to have innocent criticism as long as a person isn’t the one writing it. I’m sure a computer program has the capabilities of describing what’s in an exhibition, but it would be very boring to read.
    -Adrienne Hudson


  3. “It’s vexing to try to describe what you see without any personal depth to it.” This statement of your blog seems to have struck a cord in me. As I was reading I kept thinking back to the Sekula reading. As I have taken this class before I knew that the subjects in the photos were his family, and as discussion continued the class as a whole seemed put off by what was believed to be only assumptions. Though I believe your statement is in fact true, I also cant help but think that Sekula managed to achieve this disassociation from personal depth through vague (what was thought to be) assumptions about the subjects in the photo creating a sort of vague “innocent criticism” on the photos. As Hannah states “Like Barthes said, “one cannot judge without some previous idea…”, everything is being filtered through your mind…” this is in fact true, but once again I believe that through Sekula filtering and limiting what he is revealing he is able to achieve a judgment or criticism in which is beginning to become disassociated from what he knows and getting closer, if not creating an “innocent criticism” on his family.

    –Krista Kelly


  4. I understand what you are writing about Innocent Criticism, however I am of the small population that thinks someone could possibly judge something without prior knowledge of something else. I do realize that it changes the interpretation of what is being judged; such as someone who has seen a thousand gallery spaces versus just one. However, I think a pure entrance of thought and zero expectations leading into a judgement process would offer up the most pure form of innocent criticisms. I also believe someone is able to completely go into something and offer up the smallest amount of personal connection, just like Sekula managed to do with his family. He did a good job of removing himself from the subject matter and then creating an environment that was almost purely descriptive and very little interpretation. Now if he had removed some of the speculation comments and left things more to description, then I feel that the review could have been noted to be more innocent.

    –Kendall Mealey


  5. I definitely have a hard time writing anything without some undertone of personal emotion. Especially in descriptive writing. If the subject is something I like; I tend to use a more poetic tone. On the other hand; if the subject is something I just didn’t like, whether the story to it or the aesthetic, I tend to use more blunt language, and a somewhat sarcastic or passive aggressive tone. Unfortunately I was unable to come to class that day which led to me having a very hard time trying to write the short exhibition review from an “objective” point of view.
    -Madison S.


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