Friday, May 08, 2009

Mikey Burton makes a letterpress poster & thoughts on analogue things

Letterpress Poster Printing from Joshua Gerken on Vimeo.


I am grateful to omgposters.com for sharing this fab video... in which an artist, Mikey Burton, makes a letterpress poster.

It has me thinking about analogue things... stuff that isn't digital. Digital is now the norm... the mainstream... and analogue things have become special... niche... select.

I read an article today on my iPhone (using the "Instapaper" app)... The article was entitled :: The Transient, Digital Fetish (the morning news) [via psfk.com]. In it, LLEWELLYN HINKES speaks of the fetishation of stuff in the digital age... and makes this valuable point:
...The convenience of digital deep storage is hard to deny. Fewer people are willing to make the sacrifice of cost and convenience for the impracticality of flipping sides, changing needles, and hauling thousands of pounds of paper and plastic when they move in exchange for better sound quality, musty paper, and gatefold album art. But what if you don’t care about actually owning your fetish? That is, what if true fetishism had little to do with possession, but instead was more of a compulsion to ensure that those things you find precious and holy are preserved and treated with dignity?
Is having a fetish for the analogue and the manual... actually about preservation? I think so. We seek to keep the flame alive... because we believe in the quality of the object or the quality of what the object does/produces.

I love taking photos on my iPhone that mimic lomographic or polaroid imagery... but, deep down, I want to create imagery with the real thing. That's why I desparately want the impossible project to suceed - I want a polaroid camera.

In a similar manner, I love listening to tunes on my iPhone or iPod... I also like the immediacy of listening to tunes on Spotify. There is, however, something within me that longs for vinyl... for the real time listening experience... the unique pop/click/hiss of a record found in a charity shop... waiting to be found and loved again.

Its the same with books. I love books and yet I am the slowest reader alive. I love nothing more than hunting in charity shops for the inspiring and the interesting. I understand the need for an eReader and will get one... some day... although if Apple bring one out that may be sooner rather than later. Understanding the need and getting excited are two different things. There is a tangibility about books... you can touch them... alter them... smell them even... that's is part of their value to me.

There I go... getting all emotional about things... about stuff... but I do think we seek to preserve the memories that are intrinsicly wrapped around the thing we wish to preserve.

In that way... its not so much the record but the memories wrapped up in the record. Will we get all misty eyed about PSP games or iPhone covers? I don't know. That's why I fear this is a transitory thing... a feeling of getting old and wanting to retain those things that comfort me... that connect me with points in time that give me meaning.

This is why I celebrate artists like Mikey Burton and dream of a new record deck... for they are not only the real thing... true & authentic as opposed to a digital "copy"... but they also connect us with points of meaning... points that should not be lost in this world of progress.

I guess that makes me less of a materialist and more of a sentimentalist.


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