Appropriation & Remix

Analog Reborn

1) Summary 

In a section of Douglas Rushkoff’s Present Shock, the author compares analog to people. In the world of analog, such as film photography, the original negative must be preserved. By continuously copying the original negative through a printing machine, it degrades the quality and begins to diminish the beauty of it. With successive photocopies, each one gradually contains more noise or visual distortion. For example, each exposure of flash photography onto an original painting will over time diminish the brilliance, so that is why using camera flash at museums is prohibited. Unlike analog, digital photography does not have to use an original negative. Therefore, digital copies are not impressions made from an original source; they are the originals themselves “as if utterly reborn in every instant.” In the end, “people are still analog.”

2) Response

I really gravitated towards this idea that Rushkoff mentioned about the relationship between people and analog. Just as film, their is a uniqueness to each and every human being. No film photograph will ever turn out the same, some may be grainer than others, some may have light leaks, some may have multiple exposures; that is the beauty of analog. As with each new person you meet, they have that similar sense of mystery and wonder, which after development may lead to a pleasant surprise or experimental disaster. Personally, I love film photography; just the concept of taking something old or vintage and using it in a new and inspiring way has always intrigued me. I’m one of those people that lives in 2015, but wishes I grew up in 1975; I’d rather use a instant or analog camera over a digital camera, and I enjoy listening to records instead of mp3s. Yes, to say the least, I shouldn’t have been born in this century. Likewise, this section of the book really made me think about this tangible quality in life that we have lost over the years because of digital technology. At least in this century, we have a choice to use either analog or digital, whereas before people had a more limited selection.

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