Tech Spectrum Tutorial

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Your hands won’t smell of fixer, but at least there’s the blade danger factor.

“Go” Here & Do “This”







Later (much).

W. o’ W.: Steve Albini


“Music has entered the environment as an atmospheric element, like the wind, and in that capacity should not be subject to control and compensation. Well, not unless the rights holders are willing to let me turn the tables on it. If you think my listening is worth something, OK then, so do I. Play a Phil Collins song while I’m grocery shopping? Pay me $20. Def Leppard? Make it $100. Miley Cyrus? They don’t print money big enough.”



decasia 3

“Not long ago there were video stores in which you could browse among the shelves, discovering films you had heard of and always meant to try. Most of these stores are history… Supply rewards demand–what else is it to do? When people no longer know what to ask for, some films will go out of stock.

This is not written in anger or indignation. Cinephilia is well catered to now–so long as it is prepared to overlook the memory of movies as a screen-projected film and maybe two thousand people watching. That was the context that made moviegoing not just important but essential. So are movies settling back into the status occupied by novels? That’s possible, and we can be comfortable with it. But consider this possibility: that movies were once based on an inspiring contract, according to which “everyone” could see and be moved by some marvel all at once. That was the nature of a mass medium, and it went beyond entertainment, art, or culture. it was a hope for preserving our perilous existence and sharing experience.” -David Thomson, in The New Republic

In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction


“The aperture of a camera forms a two-way portal through which both subject and viewer peer into another time. The subject, conscious of the permanence of the document, posts forward a memory. The viewer, aligning with the memory at some later date, works to preserve the sight from disintegration. Both are present at both moments; both experience the revelation of being adrift in time, sampling it laterally.

“The moment of recording and the moment of interpretation lose their basic distinction. Somewhere in time, observer and observed reverse roles. Conscious of being watched through the asynchronous screen, both modify their behaviors, presenting their best profiles: interpenetration of looker and participant, audience and authority, aesthetic escape and polemical display, welded together and mechanically propagated through time.

“To look at a thing is already to change it. Conversely, acting must begin with the most reverent looking. The sitter’s eyes look beyond the photographer’s shoulders, beyond the frame, and change, forever, any future looker who catches that gaze. The viewer, the new subject of that gaze, begins the long obligation of rewriting biography to conform to the inverted lens. Every jump cut or soft focus becomes a call to edit. Every cropping, pan, downstopping receives ratification, becomes one’s own.

“Consider a print of you and a lover standing by the side of a house. You can shrink or enlarge it to any size. You can print it on matte, glossy, or color stock. You can mask the negative, tint it, print it up as Christmas cards. You can crop it and edit out your mate or yourself as appropriate. Finally, you can take a twelve-dollar camera and repeat the scene with a new lover, as many time as it takes to get it right.”

-Richard Powers, “Three Farmers On Their Way To A Dance,” 1985

W. o’ W.: Amanda Petrusich

“With records in general, people are quick to talk about the analog experience of music, saying a lot of cliché things about warmth, texture, and authenticity, and how it ‘just sounds better…’  the first time you hear a 78, it doesn’t sound great. It is noisy either because the shellac is damaged or it wasn’t pressed well to begin with. They were often recorded on rudimentary setups, and everything sounds a little shoddy… [but] there is something about hearing every second of the hundred years that record has been around.

“Nowadays, people are hyper-aware, when they step into a recording studio, of the ways in which it will be the defining record of that performance, but that just didn’t exist back then. People didn’t really think about it; it was all so new. So there’s something really raw and pure about the way they perform—with singing, in particular, and I think you can hear it in the instrumentation a little bit, too.

“There’s a certain mystical quality to it… I listen to LPs, I listen to CDs in my car, and I have an iPod. But there’s something about hearing 78s that is such a singular and transformative experience.”

Cranky Week, Part 2

Most everyone is now familiar with Victoria Will’s tintype portraits of celebrities, made at the Sundance Festival for Esquire magazine (; well-meaning online comments have read into the image of Philip Seymour Hoffman since his untimely passing (“Hellooo, he’s an ACtor.” “we KNOW, we WANT to read into it!”)


Now comes this justified rant from the artist Nicholas Payton regarding one of the oldest stereotypes, rearing its hoary head in journalism looking for a fresh angle on this story:

(The line “When Miles Met Philip” reminds me of “No, Ted Nugent went to high school with me.”)

Our Top Ten List

In the current practice of the (I can’t believe I’m typing this next word) venerable publication Rolling Stone, here is a compendium of last year’s photo books…

…and of jazz recordings:

Viv Premiered This Morning


Vito 5000


Could this be any more of a loving caress? It’s reminiscent of camera videos for gear geeks. It also serves as a reminder that Rabbit (Mr. Hodges) and all of his contemporaries were young men when their reputations were made. If one needs comparisons, look at early pictures of the Stones, or Dylan; Ansel, or Aaron.