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Wednesday, 02 April 2008

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Big stack; proud of it, too; good.

Dave

Just imagine, these days all you need to back up all that are a few large hard drives ;)

Lambert,
I would argue with that, because a digital image (even a digitized print) is not the same thing as a print. You can digitize the text of "Moby Dick" but you can't digitize a first edition copy of Moby Dick.

Mike J.

Hi Ctein,

Hope you don't mind my asking...

1) Why are all the labels upside down?
2) Just curious, is Ctein your full real name?

Best regards

Hi Mike,

I believe you can digitize a first edition copy of Moby Dick, you just can't reproduce one in print. However, here I was referring to digital back ups of the images only. Presumably, he would still have the original negatives, which can be scanned, and which probably are already. Should something untoward happen to one of the prints, heaven forbid, a reasonable reprint can then be made that closely resembles the original. But I understand and agree with your point. Even if you can create another print exactly like the original, it's still not the original.

Best regards

I don't know quite why but I love the picture. Gotta love a good, informal environmental portrait.

"I don't know quite why but I love the picture. Gotta love a good, informal environmental portrait."

Yes, it's honest.

Mike J.

Aw damn...Ctein? You just had to go and put a glamour fan on the hair situation..the beard looks good with a bit of wind on it, nice call!

Dear Stephen,

Thanks! It was a quick and dirty self portrait, and it came out rather better than I expected. I'm not sure why, either, but I'm pretty fond of it, too.


~ pax \ Ctein
[ please excuse any word salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital restorations http://photorepair.com
======================================


Dear Lambert,

Yes, Ctein is my full, legal name.

The reason the labels appear upside down here is historical accident. The boxes are actually stored vertically on shelves, oriented so that the covers open to the left (no particular reason, they could have just as easily have been oriented the other way when I started). In that position, the labels read normally from top to bottom like the title on the spine of the book. If I take one of the boxes and lay it horizontally with the cover on top, then the title is upside down, but I'm never reading the titles in that situation so it doesn't matter to me.

Digitizing would preserve the original negative but, in this case, would not allow reprinting that "closely resembles the original [print]" because these are dye transfer prints and matrices. Were this entire stack of boxes to suddenly magically (and malevolently) disappear, it would be impossible to re-create them because there does not exist enough of the dye transfer materials in the entire world to do so.

I could certainly always reinterpret the negatives in a different medium (and in many cases I have done so with digital prints) but the body of work shown here is irreplaceable.

Hope the floor doesn't collapse before I can get them all reshelved!


~ pax \ Ctein
[ please excuse any word salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital restorations http://photorepair.com
======================================


So, figure you threw away ten times as much. Well what a mess you've created. (LOL). Nice shot. Good to see who you are at last.-
Richard

Looking at that photo, my first response was, "Oooooo, I would really like to see the contents of those." A very tempting image.

But, seriously speaking, as a historian who delves into archives and one-of-a-kind texts, I hope there is some preservation plan aside from the shelf. (Just a suggestion--not a critique.) Is there a good university art library near by?

Cyril,
You might be missing my point...a first edition is a unique object, an artifact. An original. It can't be duplicated without the duplicate being a mere replica, or representation.

Ctein's artist-made dye transfers are not duplicable digitally without also being "replicas" in that sense.

Now, whether that's important to any given person or for any given usage is another issue altogether.

Mike J.

The Moby Dick discussion is starting to hint of the "philosophical territory" of Baudrillard.

Ctein,
That's an outstanding environmental self portrait.
Your web site says you live in Daly City and have been storing dye transfer materials in deep freezers. Since for all practical purposes you're on top of the San Andreas Fault you may want to keep negs and finished prints in the empty space in the freezers vacated by the materials you use up.
How does one deal with preserving irreplaceable work?
Bob

David -- hahahhahaha! Yes, now that you mention it, it does look like I used a wind machine to glamorize the photo. I hadn't noticed that before. I am highly amused.

Richard -- It's more like double the volume than 10 times. I'm a pretty efficient printer; I only waste around one sheet of paper for each finished print that I get. Still, that adds up to a lot of paper [impoverished smile].

Alexander -- I haven't done anything about that directly. My Will specifies that all my photographic work belongs jointly to my housemate, Paula Butler, and my best friend and photography companion, Laurie Toby Edison. They are both superbly sensible individuals with great heads for business, and Laurie knows the peculiarities of the art and academic worlds pretty well. I figure between them they'll find something worthwhile to do with the stuff.

Bob -- yes, the fault runs a handful of kilometers out to sea from my house. And, yes, most of my negatives are in the same deep freeze that has the remainder of my dye transfer materials. The finished prints? Whatever happens, happens. Just because the work is irreplaceable doesn't mean it's valuable. He said philosophically.


~ pax \ Ctein
[ please excuse any word salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital restorations http://photorepair.com
======================================


The portrait is a winner because of that sway of your beard...it compliments the repetition of the diagonals (particularly the curve of your right arm) that are falling all through your limbs in that picture, starting with your top arm and all the way through your feets. It's an oddly delightful arrangement of body parts. It reminds me of Picasso's Old Guitar Player....you knew that already, right?

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