Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Automatic Stalinism

Rossignol. I like the way you can automatically erase people from pictures. Imagine if we'd had this in the 30s and 40s, Stalin could have liquidated all those photo-erasing types with ease. Instant image manipulation is ripe for - imagine if this were in-camera and you could just point to the bit you wanted gone, the inadvertent element that didn't agree with your story and upload it instantly. There would be no truth in photography any more, no belief in the world as it is. Awesome.

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Jon said...

What, like that isn't the case already? Photography stopped being a reliable indication of reality almost immediately after it was invented; the digital age has made it totally synthetic. Every digital camera comes with software to edit the shots you take: cropping people out, upping the light level, removing unsightly backgrounds... the standard holiday photo is so false it's barely worth going.

Grill said...

Yeah, but this will be instant, from inside the camera. You take a photo and it produces an image that's already altered what reality was - there's no work involved, no evidence that reality was ever different. It all becomes a matter of reportage. Imagine an authoritarian state using this technique, that broadcasts material from live channels with pictures of foreign dissidents automatically removed, or a PLO channel that removed the images of weapons and terrorists from live broadcasts of areas bombed by Israelis, whilst the Israeli channel removes the civilians. It's awesome!

Jon said...

My point exactly. Except with dread instead of awe. It'll be fine though, we'll all be beautiful in every respect apart from the actual.