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What makes vinyl unique
and stand out is that it's just there; it's physical, it's tangible.
With an MP3, we can just discard it like it means nothing.
A tape, you have to want the music.
The VHS is this weird, fetish object I think people really
love because of its object-ness. Super 8 has a very specific look.
Nothing else looks like it.
With respect to analog film, we want the photos to
more closely match our memory.
I wanted to start a photo project about a passion of mine,
which is vinyl collecting.
When you play a vinyl record,
it demands your attention. And this is a way to connect to music. Digital formats are really
convenient but they're easily forgotten as well.
I mean if you ask anyone what was their first vinyl they bought, they'll probably remember that.
But I don't think a lot of people will remember what was their first
I think vinyl is more like an experience that you will experience more at home.
You have to take it out. You have to put it on the turn table. You have to put the needle on. These are all like actions
that demand attention from you and then you have to like keep your attention and
until the side is done.
And then you have to flip the record. So it's definitely for people who are into music,
into art, into details. When cds came out, it almost killed the vinyl
industry. But now with mp3s and iPods full of music that you don't
I think this is actually causing vinyl to
come back just because we lost touch with music. It's an archival format, it will
stay with us forever.
Eight millimeter came out as a response to sixteen millimeter and Kodak came out
with this format so middle class people could afford to make movies.
It looks so different from digital in the sense that it gives it a dreamy
quality because of the grain. There's so much pixelation that goes on with
super 8 films that it really makes it look unique.
I think it's actually aesthetic choice. If you want to create an atmosphere that's
oneiric or other worldly, then super 8 film might be the thing for you.
There's a ton of movies that incorporate super 8. Benjamin Heyden. He made a film
and it's basically a woman in a kind of dreamy environment. It was just so easy
to look at it and it was very compelling and like nothing else I had seen. Richard
Kern. Here's another fellow that makes super 8 films that were very very ***
and he would scratch the film up on purpose. Super 8 film will certainly make it
even more gritty and interesting.
The look of the film is, I think, it's main selling point
versus the kind of hollow and empty feeling that digital can produce. And I think
that's what drew me to it.
Cassettes. A lot of people use the argument that
there's a resurgence in popularity but I think the format just moved somewhere
else. In the early nineties, hip-hop culture really relished in tapes. Dance music did.
Tapes were a way you got your demo out. Now, I would say a majority of where tapes go to
are this very small, minute group of people within sub-genres of
noise music, avant-garde folk music,
really experimental stuff, a lot of drone things, kind of field recording music. Things where the
audience is very niche. So,
a cassette is a cheap way to get music to these fifty people that will really
appreciate this. If you're pressing on vinyl, you need at least a couple thousand people that are
gonna care and it costs thousands of dollars. Same with cds.
With certain avant-garde listening, the format really lends itself to
that style of music. And then these pieces tend to be a bit longer so, with cassettes,
you can control a length.
Home recording has made massive advances.
Now I can make an album in a night,
sitting on my bed watching tv, dump it on a cassette and, voila, a release is born.
So cassettes are an easy way for them to get their music out, inexpensively, in a
physical format to the people that are going to care
in short amount of time.
VHS constituted nothing short of a revolution and a sea change in how
individuals related to television. The thing for artists, they're interested in the
artifact that VHS has become. In the eighties, VHS won the format wars
against a superior format, Betamax, mainly because of it's low quality, it could
actually boast a longer recording time. I think, partly because of this, it is enjoying a
resurgence, especially within the horror genre. Horror films like Paranormal Activity
Three really pick up on
what happens when you let a camera run unattended for hours. In terms of
aesthetically about VHS, it's owing to VHS's very poor quality. As an
example, Harmony Korine's Trash Humpers. He really drew out, in that film, glitchiness. The bended
image, the ghost stain, the color fading,
the static disruptions, or the dropouts. But I also think what comes through in
Trash Humpers, in particular, is this idea of recycling
VHS, kind of
things that you recorded on top of the same tape so you'd have this really weird assemblage. There's something
really great and mysterious about VHS tapes; that like ominous black
cassette tape and what it might hold.
With Impossible instant film, we we're really interested in this idea that
analog instant film has a sort of bridging between the film world and the digital world. Film
and digital can exist simultaneously and it gives you a choice. Digital has a very
specific look and everybody has that look. So any kind of photographer that
was looking to set themselves apart from the mainstream went back to film or
or picked up film for the first time. And it still has all the warmth and
chemical chaos that digital, still to this date, lacks. Analog film has all these
crazy things that can happen to it that make it really beautiful.
Some people might call them errors. There would be cracks in the film, there would be these
little patches at the
top where the paste didn't spread all the way because the rollers in the camera were a little bit loose.
And black and white films use an oxidation process which is like rust.
and so if you don't dry out the image an
appropriate amount of time, it continues to oxidize inside the frame and it starts to look kind of weird.
Some people love this weirdness and they let their pictures purposely go that way.
This creates a situation where serendipity is frequent. You almost have to
rely on it for a really beautiful photo.
I like the choice of using digital or film and I don't think one is necessarily
better or worse than the other. I just want the choice.
Film has withstood the test of time.
In fact, a lot of my students like to shoot on film
because it makes their work stick out. In terms of VHS now, part of the
fascination is that there is nothing really anyone can do to keep it from
becoming this obsolete relic.
We're losing intimacy with music. When we
play a vinyl record, we get to enjoy it in a different sense.
really cheap and
distributed pretty quickly. All you need is an idea. We've made a medium and
we've encouraged people to use the medium
and to make it beautiful.