📰 🔍 Pessimists Archive Newsletter
🎨 Art Isn’t Dead, 👑 Camera Shy King and 🎭 other Drama
🎨 Art Isn’t Dead
Suddenly everyone is talking about AI threatening creative work, the rise of Dalle, MidJourney and other systems has quickly changed the conversation about technological displacement, taking it in a direction few expected. It reminded us - and others - of how photography was received by some.
We asked Annabelle Pollen, a Professor in Visual and Material culture, if she could recall any good examples of photography being treated as a threat to artists. She cited a great - if unconfirmed quote - from a French artist after seeing photographs for the first time:
👨🏼🎨 “From today, painting is dead.” - Paul Delaroche, 1840
Notably it appears from the archives that it was mostly treated as an aide to painters, rather than a threat. In fact photography had trouble being considered art at all for a long while.
👑 Camera Shy King
111 YEARS AGO KING GEORGE V BECAME THE NEW KING OF ENGLAND, at the time photography was prohibited inside Westminster Abbey during his Coronation - the same was true for his successor George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II. It would take until 1953 for the rules to relax.
When Princess Elizabeth finally became the Queen, not only was photography allowed to capture the sacred ceremony, so were motion picture cameras - with the footage to be later aired in cinemas across the commonwealth. However, live television broadcasts were prohibited, until public outcry forced a policy change. Our last newsletter explored this in more detail.
If you missed the piece, read it here on the Wonderful Tedium Newsletter:
🎧 Leaves Those Kids Alone
A tweet decrying the number of kids with iPads at Disneyland got a lot of traction on Twitter, the author posited we were all doomed because: how could kids crave stimulation in such a stimulating place?! Ignoring of course the long lines and waiting those without a ‘fastpass’ have to endure.
This reminded us of a similar sentiment about Walkman use at fairgrounds in the 1980s, the author of the below article opined:
"Of all the saddening signs of a troubled society, I saw perhaps the most chilling of all the other afternoon. There, on the midway of the Ohio State Fair, strolled teenagers wearing sony walkman headphones.”
Read the full article via our tweet:
🎭 Am I the Drama?
We were under the impression that concerns about the corrupting influence of theatre was left in previous centuries - however we stumbled across a 1964 clipping this week that shows these concerns being raised as recently as the 1960s.
Similar concerns from prior centuries: