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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Comments

Good for Mr. Kingston. I hope his wife never said, "What are you keeping that for? You never throw anything away!"

Every week on Antiques Roadshow there seems to be something very valuable that I never would have thought was worth a dried fig, as the Italians say. I guess things become valuable because they become rare as more and more people say, "Why do I have this old doo-dad?" and then pitch it in the trash.

I was trying to come up with things to collect that are being replaced by newer technology. For example, I bet in the 1970s someone collecting mechanical watches was getting them for a song since quartz watches were more accurate. Now that people are into collecting and crafts they realize the value of mechanical watches and that a few seconds inaccuracy per day is no big deal. I didn't give it much though but the only old technology I could only come up with was old cell phones from the 80s and early 90s. But like many people in the past I said to myself, "Now there's something that people will never collect." We'll see.

I'm going to try to get a copy Mike, but, alas, Amazon.ca doesn't list it right now.

As for JonA's interest in "things to collect that are being replaced by newer technology," I was delighted to discover that there are folks who collect late 70's/early 80's scientific electronic calculators. Who knew? I did very well on eBay.

yeah, but is it vintage vernacular?

Yes, definitely vintage. 1800s and early 1900s, mostly.

Mike

Hearing "young now" and "$4.3 million" has me doing my best to mark Mike's words. Problem is, I'm not exactly sure how! My knowledge of wet darkroom techniques is cursory at best, but my understanding is that the bulk of the things that people used to do in the wet darkroom to produce the final print are now done in Photoshop or a raw converter etc. Therefore the modern (and likely, future) equivalent of a traditional darkroom-produced print is really a digital file which encapsulates all of the photographer's adjustments. From this the photographer can make prints but these prints will be performed in a largely automated way with all of the artistry previously reserved for the wet darkroom having already been performed prior to beginning the printing process. What then, should we be collecting? It seems likely that prints are going to be less and less relevant going forward as the world becomes increasingly digitised -- for example, today's digital photo frames are crude but likely to get bigger and more impressive or have the functionality generally integrated into most display panels. So does this imply that original digital files will become the collectors items instead? This may be particularly relevant given photographers don't tend to make these widely available, leading to a kind of scarcity. However, once the file has obtained, as unlimited copies can now be made, will prints made in the era become sought-after? If so, to what degree are these likely to be purely a reflection on the nature of the printers we currently have available more than anything else? Just some thoughts...

Mike,
Thank you for the nice piece on Rodger's collection and the "In the Vernacular" project. Just wanted to let folks know that the book is also available via the Boston University Art Gallery Web site, and this might solve the problem for your reader in Canada. Best -- Stacey
http://www.bu.edu/art/webPages/catalogues.html

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