Fascinating article on Collectors Weekly about John Foster, curator behind the Accidental Mysteries, a photography blog that features 'vernacular' images, every-day images found in old (sometimes really old) discarded cameras featuring the everyday of a by-gone era. Our fascination with vintage is so intrinsic with us that, "even the most successful digital photo apps, like Instagram, mimic the authentic quality of vintage photographic prints, down to their faded colors and unexpected blemishes."
Foster regularly features images from his personal collection on his blog and in museum exhibitions, pushing viewers to reconsider these seemingly ordinary photos. Ive seen people look at them with great fondness and interest, people that are not necessarily artists. And the reason they do is because theyre drawn to the particular photo style of the day, like the cut of the deckled edge or a particular photo color, something that they remember. Its this familiarity with the everyday image that draws them to it so closely. It might be a birthday party of anonymous people, and they love the fact that theyre anonymous, that it could be found for 50 cents in a bin somewhere.
This physical nature of vintage photographs is an important part of their appeal, especially in our modern digitized world. Foster tells the story of a friend who purchased an extra hard drive to have more storage space for the thousands of digital photos on his computer, despite the fact that only a handful of the images had ever been printed and enjoyed as physical photographs. It dawned on me that the 21st century might be the most documented but least saved, says Foster.
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