Two things, which are shining examples of those things from the past coming back to impact the future.
Polaroid film. Instant, with those strange colors, is one object in photo-making who’s manufacturing life has met it’s end. The need for the instamatic camera and the one and only it spits out has radically diminished with the massive take-over of digital cameras. It is a niche market now, an object of the past that technology has eradicated.
Which is why I want to see The Impossible Project succeed this year. I am rooting for them.
Google’s archives of LIFE magazine. This article published this week by the New York Times Magazine discusses the problem with Google’s recently digitized LIFE photographic archive and it’s lack of contextualizing details. In it, Heffernan explains why this lack of contextualizing evidence simplifies and softens the subject matter, how it doesn’t explain the obsession with the Kennedy’s and is sorely lacking the way the images were categorized. Imagine my delight at the job she is proposing for the particular photography lovers and aspiring librarians everywhere:
“If Google intends to get into the business of displaying photography, it needs to either encourage wiki curation or, more feasibly, to hire a team of people who understand photography to make the most of the raw material here. It’s a good time for it: many first-rate content providers who made their careers in old media (some who even understand the significance of Life photography) would be happy, one of these days, to get a call from Google.”
I won’t lie: my toes curled.