digital dump: a new blog.
My inability to reconcile my recent impulse to dive head first into a mire of pixels and foreign glass with my analog heart has spawned this new blog. (“Foreign” not as in Japanese, as in “I’m not a Canon man, I’m a rangefinder/medium format/polaroid man.”)
My grapples and dissonance have been chronicled on HOME here and there. At the risk of being redundant I will only add that it is clear to me that digital has it’s place, I’m just not sure where that place is. In the digital age, when everything is scanned I can’t help but wonder if my ambivalence and that of others wouldn’t be mollified by the printing of digital images then scanned and re-uploaded. Part of what makes film film is film in an era in which most of our images our are digested in the context of blogs, pinterest, flickr, flacker, shitter, whacker, is the distance film creates. We are scanning objects and that scrim—sometimes dense like a print, other times barely detectable like a transparancy—creates a “realness” to the images and an therefore an authenticity. It also feels ”authentic” precisely because it is in fact less authentic; it looks less like life and less like the screen on which we are viewing it. Of course there are those who hand process their work, manipulate their images manually and this too gives the photo, if not itself, at least its backstory a sense of humanity. I would argue however in non-virtual life, formerly known simply as “life,” one would often be hard pressed to differentiate an image that originated digitally and the nearly grainless images of large format film. And so, much of this “argument” exists within the virtual world and within ourselves wherein we wrestle with our own authenticity and identities as art makers.
So, for now, for me, I know this: one shoots a fuckload more with a digital camera on hand and I am finding it difficult to justify clouding the fairly consistent nature of my mother blog, which, though often prolific, moves at a trackable pace. I know also this: images are images are images. And though there is a certain amount of homogeny that I and others have managed to avoid by using different film stocks, cameras, and Polaroids, fundamentally I at least am still moved by the source of these images—what my eye sees. LIfe. When not trading one in for the next—as though I expect one of them to magically transform my ambivalence—I have been enjoying these new beautiful lenses lately. And furthermore and finally, I have been enjoying the essential technology that has always been used to capture a version of reality. Because that has simply not changed. These are the days of high tech camera obscuras, but that is in effect all they are. The contraptions that capture the light have changed but their fundamental technology really has not in over a thousand years. And the human contraption behind them has and always will be (barring armageddon, alien invasions etc) that which unites all photo makers. And delineates them.
This message has been brought to you by ocd cum inosmnia.