writings on photography & other media
Don Snyder
Appendix: Discovery Place Perception Identity Memory Process


Discovery Place Perception Identity Memory Process


Thus reason has perceived that numbers govern and make perfect all that is in rhythms (called “numbers” in Latin) and in song itself; has examined them diligently; and has found them to be eternal and divine. Next surveying heaven and earth, reason has perceived that in them only beauty pleases it, in beauty only figures, in figures dimensions, and in dimensions numbers.

These things, separated and ordered, reason has brought together in a discipline which it calls Geometry. Profoundly impressed by the movement of the heavens, reason has been further prompted to inquire diligently into this.

Through the endless succession of the seasons, through the harmonious and regular courses of the stars, through the orderly extent of the intervening distances, reason has perceived that here, too, only dimension and numbers hold sway.

Similarly putting these things in order by defining and dividing, reason brought forth Astronomy.

In this way, then, all things present themselves in the mathematical disciplines as harmonious, as having to do with the immortal numbers which are apprehended by reflection and study, those which are perceived by the senses being mere shadows and images.

St. Augustine, quoted in the Scholia enchiriadis, c. 900
Source Readings in Music History. Oliver Strunk
New York: W.W. Norton, 1950


We owe much to our sources and should not be afraid to borrow. What we learn from a work of art is renewed in the future. The right to this exchange is earned by dedication. We are humble about just a word or fragment of something by Leonardo da Vinci. Every time we see a beautiful work of art we acquire some of its rigor. In going to museums, a painter remembers many paintings in terms of the structural cohesion of their component parts. So after years of work he ends up with a creative combination of these sources. 

This is not bad. The creation of another style transforms what preceded it. Everything undergoes transformation in order to survive. For years, people admire their masters as traditional learning until the quality of commitment shows in their own work. This cannot be objected to; it is beautiful. The inspiration and quality with which these sources reappear is the work of art. 

Frederick Sommer, Art and Aesthetics, 1982
Sommer: Words
Tucson: University of Arizona, 1984

Course Materials

2010 Function and Image Arts: Origins and Change
2010 Portfolio Eleven
2009 Portfolio Ten
2008 Portfolio Nine
2004 Alphabetically by Title: Afterword
2004 Portfolio Seven
2003 Appendix
2003 Introduction - Function #5
2003 Portfolio Six
2001 Introduction - Function #3
2000 Introduction - Function #2
1999 Introduction - Function #1
1998 Images and Ideas
1985 Elite's Paces