nicole rademacher

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ana v digi v ana v digi v

There is a revelation that occurs the first time you pull your film out of the development tank and look at it in the light - even if there is nothing on it. A transformation occurred that you made happen. If nothing came out, or your exposure was off, there is no apple (or control) + z, no undo button, no revert to saved, no save in increments, no back up. You must figure out where you went wrong and redo it, hoping that you did indeed figure out where you went wrong. (ok, sometimes it could be a faulty camera) Yet, you will not know for sure until you pull the newly developed, dripping in photo-flo, film out of the developing tank again. Similarly, you are the sole person/thing responsible for it. You can only loose it if you physically misplace the film. No crash, no accidental delete, no system freeze in the middle. You are responsible and there is no one and nothing else to blame.

The revelation doesn't occur on the computer, where if you don't like the filter you just applied, you can undo. This is fine for those of us who have experienced the revelation, at least once. But those who have never experienced it have been deprived of a significant event, a feeling of satisfaction and positive reinforcement from oneself. Those of us who have been privy to the revelation perhaps imagine a small one each time we learn new tools or discover new methods in our current digital practice.

If all I knew was apple+z, would I be as fulfilled with working in the intangible? How did I ever give up control over my work to a finicky computer that is perhaps subject to frequent crashes and irreversible deletions?

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