Nick Schietromo is a fine art photographer, residing in the South Shore of Massachusetts. He pursing an undergraduate degree in Photography from New England Institute of Art. His recent shows include the Flash Forward Festival 2013: Undergraduate Photography Now and the New England Institute of Art’s Gallery. In Years Later Nick appropriates second hand images and simulates the suggested digital decay of our expanding archive.
On average, there are 350 million photographs uploaded to Facebook, 42 million photos taken on Instagram and 1.42 million posted to Flickr every day. But how many of those photographs actually get printed? Half? A quarter? An eighth? Chances are most of the photographs will never get printed and shared with others in a tactile way.
Fast-forward five, ten, fifteen years and the chances of finding Uncle Joe’s birthday party photographs are near impossible. And at the rate technology increases, the chances of that hard drive those photos were on and that it still works is questionable. Vernacular photography has constantly changed; and finding vintage fiber prints is amazing, voyeuristic and tactile. While a photograph from 1901 may be slightly faded and a bit roughed, I doubt we will be able to view a digital file we make now in a hundred years. Can digital images age with us like prints? Patinas, cracks, and fading will be replaced with lost and damaged files. Will we treat a glitch as fondly as a well-worn print corner or a faded image in a frame?
I fear that in just a few years we won’t be able to stumble across an old family photo album. There will be no physical item to show off to others. With our short attention spans, we take the photo, post it to a social media outlet, wait for the “likes” to roll in and then move on to the next photo to post. Photos become lost in the monstrosity that is our digital archive. Though social media has ramped up how we see personal images and how many we have, will the technology, the platform if you will, stand the test of time like a 100 year old silver gelatin print?
For more information, please visit his website.