Dedd Pixel

Tag: camera

Obsolescent

by on Sep.02, 2013, under Art, General

Rhizome.org and the New Museum are offering artists the opportunity to recover their art that is currently stuck on obsolete media before it is too late.  Through September 8th, they’re offering transfers from archaic storage such as floppy disks to a more stable format with the option to transfer them to the Internet Archive as well.

The art world has always had to deal with the issue of preservation but the severity of the issue is intensified by magnitudes for the born-digital materials.  This is not just true for art, but for other documents that made hold historical value.  In a world where it is so easy to Select All and Delete, how do we ensure that our history will be preserved?  Is it up to the digital archeologists of the future to comb through caches and log files to piece together the remnants of history forgotten?  I’ve had several desktop computers die on me and their carcasses sit dormant in the basement.  I simply re-installed the software on my new computers but the images, papers, and other memorabilia lie lost on those hard drives.  The exact makeup has long been forgotten so who knows when and if I’ll ever get around to recovered what was on those old drives.

In the age of the smartphone snapshot, how much digital history is banished before it can be preserved?  We snap away in our smartphone cameras and pick and choose what gets posted to our social media circles.  How many interesting beautiful cast-aways never see the light of a computer screen?  How many memories are forgotten when we upgrade our phone?  Physical prints are rarely created by the average person anymore, so how much family history will be lost in private Flickr accounts or locked down Facebook albums when someone passes away?  Is the age of stumbling across your grandparent’s old family album fading away?

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Polaroid and the Evolution of Photo Sharing

by on Jan.26, 2012, under Art, Tech

Polaroid, the company that popularized instant photo sharing, demoed a smart camera device at the 2012 Consumer Electronics show.  The new 16 megapixel camera based off of the Android operating system, features a 3x optical zoom, wifi and bluetooth connectivity along with one-button sharing to social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumbler.  Polaroid’s origins are rooted in photo sharing and, unlike Kodak, they made the transition from film based photography comfortably, so this product seems like a natural extension.

Despite the firm dominance of modern digital photography, consumers are still enamored with the old photographic effects of toy cameras.  Perhaps it’s nostalgia for a simpler time but it’s coupled with an ironic usage of new technology to intentionally create the by-chance effects of old analog cameras.  Instagram offers single-click filters to mimic these old-timey effects over your smartphone snapshots, but people can also create toy camera effects in Photoshop and several apps offer the ability to replicate the Polaroid photograph, from the white frame to the vintage looking images themselves.

For the die-hards, the original, physical Polaroid is the way to go.  Although Polaroid stopped producing the instant film in 2008, a team of former employees created the impossible project and endeavored to preserve Polaroid’s analog photographic art by developing and releasing new forms of the instant film for use in the millions of functioning Polaroid cameras still in use.  They’re keeping the art-form alive and in addition to selling the film, they also host galleries of artistic work created with the cameras that are shared digitally on their website.  It’s more than a digital filter slapped over a snapshot.  It’s intentional art.

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