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digital is dead

Once ubiquitous, the Photobooth was first introduced to the world in the mid 1920's by inventor Anatol Josepho, a Russian immigrant to New York City, when he unveiled on Broadway what would become an instant sensation and ultimately a cult classic. 

 

Back in the day, "photobooths dotted the five and dime stores, bus stations and the American amusement parks from coast to coast". Today most of these iconic machines have been reduced to scrap metal abandoned in junk yards or been replaced by digital reproduction photobooths; common in dive bars and hotel lobbies. Only a handful of their analog photochemical forebears still exist Globally.

In the era of smart phones and snapchat filters, where digital technology touches every aspect of our lives; a certain type of magic occurs when  you step into a vintage photobooth, close the curtain and create something tangible. There's a certain type of magic in impatiently waiting several minutes for the clunky old internal machinery to "dip and dunk" chemically process what only took 20 seconds of posing. Magic in reaching for the strip, just spit out into the catch-tray...still wet, and seeing for the first time the poses and expressions, unedited and unrehearsed. The evidence of crow's-feet and laugh-lines on a face; all signs of the many emotions experienced in a life well lived. Photostrips tell a story. And story-telling is an art. 

I began my love affair with photobooths over twenty years ago, but I started this analog art project back in 2018 during my travels. While the majority in my industry is creating lucrative online photo subscriptions on popular sites; I'll still be over here churning out one-of-a-kind analog self portraiture mementos. Call me a Neo-Luddite, but I rather like the idea of there being a bawdy B&W keepsake, tucked into an envelope in the back of your sock-drawer.

 

Recently my work was published in a sex work anthology, in print Spring 2024.

Call me a Neo-Luddite, but I rather like the idea of there being a bawdy B&W keepsake, tucked into an envelope in the back of your sock-drawer.

photostrips