Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Body of evidence

When I was younger, I'm pretty sure my mother and father took a multitude of photographs, and most likely some video, of myself and my older brother. As far as I can ascertain, very little evidence of these media exist. I do have memories of my father running slide shows, and I know that my stepfather was interested in photography at various points in our youth. Where did these vanish to? Are they stuck somewhere in albums, boxed in a loft? Have they been jettisoned as irrelevant artifacts of our younger lives?

I'd like to think that those images would have value to myself and my family as time goes on. The older I become, the more value I place on my place in the world and my story within it. Scattered moments of staring at family albums when I was 12, feeling persecuted and terribly embarrassed, would probably hold huge emotional relevance to me today.

Gabriel will, for better or worse, most likely not face that fate - unless the interwebs and society as know it change fairly radically, or Flickr / Picasa / Facebook suddenly decide that the cents worth of disk space I hold from them in exchange for targetting their adverts is actually considerably less valuable than now. Most likely he'll come of age in a time where all the photographs, video, audio and other media that we've captured of him will persist in some form that will literally be embarassingly easy to find. Creating that media is as trivial as it has ever been, indexing it slightly less trivial but still not a terribly onerous task.

To parallel the effort I'd have to put in to discover my former selves captured in chemicals, I'm going to forgo providing any links. Gabriel, if you're reading this - it's all on the internet somewhere ;)

1 comment:

  1. Tim,

    The older stuff is all in the bottom drawer of mum's bureau. For anything after you were about 5 then it's no doubt hidden somewhere amongst the piles of crap elsewhere in the house. I expect that one day the two of us will have a date with a skip and try to sort the wheat from the chaff. Then it will just be a question of keeping it all analogue, or spending days on end feeding a film scanner with old negs.

    PS I think there's approximately no video of us as kids. The kit was too expensive, and I don't remember the folks getting a camcorder until that Florida trip that they didn't take us on (as we'd already left home).

    PPS I've got a tin box of all the stuff I ever shot, which probably includes scout camps, youth club and Surfers. You're welcome to have a dig through next time you're over.