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Rob Dunlavey
Ashes, Dust & Ephemera
posted:
There's a design company not far from my house. It's a kind of sleepy, well-tended place. I don't know who pays their bills nowadays; I think they used to do pretty well by annual reports for pharmaceutical companies. The other day I noticed a dumpster out back. Dumpsters always get my attention (a habit acquired back in art school). Maybe they were doing a remodel and it would be filled with demolition debris.
On closer inspection I saw that like so many people around here, the incessant rains had flooded their basement forcing them to toss out a small snapshot of the recent history of our beloved profession. Do you see yourself in any of these photos? The dumpster is filled with a jumble of old printers, a few G3 Macs, computer mice, dozens of sourcebooks, stacks of cd's and books with sleeves filled with application floppies. There were a few chairs and filing cabinets too. Actually, the filing cabinets were gone this morning. A metal filing cabinet that can dry out trumps a decade of obsolete (and expensive) Photoshop upgrades!
Right here, observe closely. I saw Photoshop 3.0 installation discs on floppies as well as cds. How many hundreds of times have you stared at those Adobe splash screens while the whales booted up? Thousands! Maybe I should send this whole dumpster to The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies!
Adobe Type Manager… remember that? It's hard to keep up with it all. I still have books and boxes of application discs in all formats floating around. Archives too! In media I can no longer open. It's all just a little odd. I am the caretaker of all these senile little technologies. These cords with their unique ends but nothing corresponding to plug them into anymore. And then I feel guilty throwing the heavy sinewy cords with their brass and copper and silicon elements into the waste stream. And so, it piles up until Nature reclaims her own.
Aldus Freehand! It's downright Biblical (like Cain and Abel, the twins who fought). I think Adobe won that battle.
Bye bye!
James Yang stock art (from a SIS catalog I think)
Quilts of Gee's Bend, Paul Rand, Quicktime, Quark
Ideas, concepts, communication, and, yes hands, never get obsolete so I will try not be too depressed for too long with this display of the ephemeral heart of our enterprise.


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