Artist Jim Golden proves that obsolete technology is worthy of our admiration, not just our ridicule.
Rummaging around a thrift store in rural Oregon, Portland-based photographer Jim Golden found an old brick cell phone. Once so familiar, the object captured his imagination, and he’s been looking at gadgets differently ever since. “Since finding it, similar bits and pieces of old technology and media kept grabbing my attention,” Golden told Workbook. “These photos are reminders that progress has a price and our efforts have an expiration date.”
The series of animations that came out of Golden’s idea, called Relics of Technology, resemble the Cinemagraphs that were so trendy a few years ago. They combine focused motion with sharp detail, kitsch with genuine discovery. The isolated nature of the objects against carefully colorpicked backgrounds, however, is unique, both drawing your attention to the objects themselves and acknowledging their history through the use of colors that may have once surrounded them, such as ‘blush rose.’
“The fascination was equal parts nostalgia for the forms, and curiosity as to what had become of them,” he went on to say. “One thing led to another and I was on the hunt for groups of media and key pieces of technology, most of which have now been downsized to fit in the palm of our hand. These photos are reminders that progress has a price and our efforts have an expiration date.” He has a good point: with the convergence that characterizes a large part of technological advancement these days (think of the phrases like ‘There’s an app for that’ and the increasing capability of computers and smartphones to do what separate devices once did), the entire idea of an electronic ‘gadget’ made to carry out a certain single task, blink, beep and twitch as it may, might one day be obsolete.
The images have gotten traction as GIFs, but they were originally part of a video that encourages even more attention and reflection: