I just finished reading this article about faux-vintage photos (the kind associated with Instagram or Hipstamatic applications) and authenticity/nostalgia.
This whole topic hits near and dear to my heart for a few reasons. Initially, when faux-vintage instant photography first dropped into our social networking consciousness, I couldn’t help but remember the stack of photos that my mother gave to me: a 1970s road trip through the Badlands, a similar journey through the American southwest. She was saddened and disappointed because the vibrant colors had faded into browns and creams. The non-longer blue skies were something of a harsh reality. A physical manifestation of the passing of time and youth. But, man, they were cool looking! For a teenager who lacked any real camera skills, these spoiled photos were something rare and precious. I could take a photo of grass and, sure, it would be green. But, what kind of photo wizard could make that green grass brown and purple?
Many years later, I was spending one of my first nights getting to know Dave. I think we were huddled in the shark-shaped novelty tent that took up most living floor in my apartment. He told me that he was “into noise music” but quickly buffered that statement by say that such an art form was really more of a treat for those who make it and less for those who listen to it. The distinction of pleasurable creation versus pleasurable consumption is one that I try to keep close at hand.
Now, I make jewelry. I make it from old things. I make it to look old. I make it because I like to; because it is fun (sometimes!). But, I work hard to cultivate and control a reality that isn’t and a nostalgia for what never was. Maybe, like simulated vintage photographs, I also cannot help but celebrate a “nostalgia for the present”.