My current project Analogue explores the work of artists who are continuing to work "old school" in the digital age. It has been an amazing experience - the list of artist is a who's who of analogue processes - Pete Swanson (Dagmar Guitars), Mike Robinson (Canada's premier daguerreotypist), Phil Hoffman (of Film Farm fame), Jill Graham (Master Printer and technical director of Open Studio), and of course, punk rock record producer "STEVE ALBINI!" I traveled to Chicago in summer '11 to hang with him at his studios for a few days as he had quickly replied to my email asking him to comment on the digital/analogue conversation that a lot of people are having these days. His reply to my initial email was fast (only 6 minutes later) and brief:
Sure thing, no problem, I'll talk your ear off.
I was lucky enough to be there when an amazing new band was recording their new album - the Cloud Nothings and they were gracious enough to let me film to my heart's content. A great and talented group of guys.
The first participant I found was Mike Robinson, who invited me to see him teach a workshop at the George Eastman House in Rochester. He lead an eager group of photographers through the processes and pitfalls of making daguerrotypes - the world's first practical form of photography. Full of toxic chemicals like bromine, and mercury vapour, it's an extremely intimidating process, but the results are fantastic. I was so enamoured by his work and his process I made a short version of Analogue only featuring him:
The excerpt above is only one of five stories in the film about working in a medium or technique that digital is trying to render antique. The short version of the film will be screen at the Doc Now Festival on May 28th at the Bell Lightbox in Toronto. If you want to come (tickets are free), then contact me.
As an extra treat, here is Steve discussing his views on purely digital pop music, which has a limited shelf-life because it is made (and stored) only on computers. Not suitable for children
contact me: kevin at kevinfraser dot ca