Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ode to a Scanner

I enjoy scanning photographs, I don't know why. Maybe it's because it reminds me of my early days of photographs - scanning my shiny new prints to upload them to, seeing the photographs in a new light. Two new lights really - first you scan them, and they are different, lit up by thousands of little computer screen lights. Then you put them on the internet, and they acquire the veneer of a thing with the potential of being looked at by a huge number of people, visible anywhere and at any time. Suddenly it's not yours anymore. Your physical photographs, held in your hands and seen only by yourself and the person who printed and bagged them, are suddenly exposed and seem different, smaller somehow. I always feel this way when uploading photographs, same with music. There are obviously plenty of printed photos I've not put on the internet, but some prints I actually like I've never even scanned, and I don't think I ever will. I try not to be too sentimental about material objects (which to be honest is very difficult, I'm pretty materialistic), but with these photographs I think I'll keep them precious, visible only in one place and at one time.

With this in mind, I made some music based around the sound of the particular scanner I happen to be using at the moment (I've owned maybe four ever, all but the first one [which was my parents'] of them secondhand). It came from a charity shop and cost me two euros or something ludicrous. It's pretty banjaxed at this stage, and there's the tell-tale white line appearing on one side of the image. But it makes a great noise.