Digging, it refers to DJ’s and Turntablists going through crates of records, looking for samples and other inspiration to create their music / artform.
I guess that’s why I’ve been on my vintage theme.
When people want to get into photography, they always ask me what camera to get. It’s a bit more complicated than that… Just like in any field, hobby, or obsession, there are different levels to it.
Not to pigeonhole everyone that ever picked up a camera but, some only want to take romantic, dreamy photos, start a business and be done with it. Some don’t go beyond that, and that’s fine. All of us in some way are working in the proverbial restaurants, waiting tables until the screenplay hits, the song goes #1, or platinum # of views. In that case, buy this particular Model X of this brand, and the same lenses as the popular people and off you go.
Some get into it as a way of meeting good looking people. There are some that just want to take images just for the sake of it because they find it enjoyable and they have a certain amout of talent for it. Then, there are those that really get into it, which I don’t see too many of, the kind that really take a liking to the whole idea of photography, the consuming passion to archive and document moments and memories, both mundane and amazing. I would have to say I’m all the above, some more unmentioned inbetween, but more of the latter. Not too many want to be that kind of photographer, the kind that also enjoys the history of photography, the dreaming of gear, both used and not yet created, that could further help progress the artform.
In doing my own digging, looking for functioning gear that I could use, or just collect and appreciate on an aesthetic level, it made me realize the unfulfilled dreams in just about every facet of every person or family’s lives. I know I’m writing this from the viewpoint of a dwindling and dying Americana, but hopefully this resonates with some of the rest of you. It’s been this way for quite some time, products of industry, products of just living, that end up as junk somewhere.
One of my alltime favorite artists, DJ Shadow, expressed it right, when you’re digging for records, you’re browsing through stacks of broken dreams, and it’s a humbling experience. Even in this day and age, getting your face on a record cover, or image in a book or magazine, that’s still pretty bigtime stuff, but half of those people didn’t make it to critical mass, they just faded away, completing the cycle of starting off small, getting known, and then slipping back to obscurity.
These old cameras, somewhere, sometime back in the past, somebody bought it for one of endless reasons–dreams of becoming a professional, aspirations of becoming published, or just the boyish desire of putting into physical form somebody that they like or adore.
So what are we doing all this for, putting our stuff online, collecting people left and right, when we don’t know how many of us will be here when the lights finally go off. At least the Coke bottles and sundry items in the antique stores are physical things, making their mark in time. I don’t see too many hard drives being in these antique bins one day. The literal bits of our modern lives unaccessible or viewable to even our future selves.
Being a modern artist/photographer, I think about it a lot, the futility of creating work for non existent walls, and non existent money to pay the bills. I have to remind myself of moments that I actually care about, and what prompted me to want to snap the shutter, and keep that with me the next time I’m turned down for a job or bomb an interview. It’s the passion of just creating, the drive that you can’t put down on a fake resume, that gives validity to any of these silly creative exercises. At least that’s what I tell myself, but it’s getting harder by the day.