Ode to a Camera

Camera sketch

Today I pause to consider my camera. It is old (ancient in technological time at 10 years old ), cracked, chipped, and worn but still functioning. My foray into cyberspace would not be possible without it. This technology allows me the freedom to reproduce any image that I create effectively and inexpensively. Only 20 years ago before the advent of digital photography this was not economically possible for the average artist. For those artists old enough to remember having to deal with slide photography this technology is a blessing.

On the other hand, I fear that this technology may make me an anachronism. That glowing screen image is so seductive, so portable, and so ubiquitous. Will it replace the physical painted image that has been with us since man was cognizant? I know that I feel differently standing in front of a Rembrant painting that he touched and made his mark on than seeing an image in a book or on a screen.

Painting survived the invention of the camera obscura in the 5th century BCE and lenses in the 15th century. Also the invention of the film camera pushed painting in new directions with modernism, but I sense that this time it is different. The virtual world is an alternate reality, not necessarily an extension of actual reality.

How many of you are content viewing digital images of my artwork on this blog and my web sight  and will never consider actually having one in your living space? Is this like downloading music for free? Should we consider a pay per view “Iview” model? How will the visual artists survive this tech revolution?

Perhaps I am an anachronism already.