Friday, September 26, 2014

Photorealism

I never understood photographs until I was older.

When you are a kid, the world flies by. Time doesn't seem to matter; it just comes and goes. I remember seeing some of the photographs that I see now in my hands. They used to sit on the mantle at my first house, where my brother was born, where I grew up. Over the years these photos disappear. They went into hiding so time couldn't ravage those memories.

I doubt that scrapbooking will endure. My mother’s photobook spanning my entire childhood is a rarity for people in my generation. I think that’s because she got the stuff from her mother, who scrapbooked when photos were the equivalent of social networks. I was given a scrapbook as a wedding present, something to use between me and my wife. I didn't even know what I was holding! It was so surreal. My generation has no value for memories. They are so fluid and fragmented by social upheaval that the best a photo can do is conjure pain, nostalgia, or regret.

One of my favorite shows, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex contains an episode that had Motoko Kusanagi visit a sort of kinesthetic storage facility, a place where cyborgs could store a variety of tangible, physical mementos that proved they had existed. Without a body that aged and changed, a cyborg’s concept of time quickly vanished. The idea of Self vanished. Sometimes I feel like photobooks serve the purpose of reminding us who we are, where we came from, where we are going.

As digital film corrodes, negatives burn watermarks.Hidden, out of sight, but safeguarding the soul.


SW  

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