March, 2006

March 31, 2006

sims_photobooth.jpgA few months ago we made note of the photobooth that makes an appearance in the new “Sims 2” game. Thanks to the wonder of YouTube, now we’ve got a video of the photobooth in action. I won’t hazard a guess as to what exactly is going on in the booth, but it’s nice to see what it looks like in the “real” world.

According to another screen capture, this one on Flickr, you can “take photos of your sims and then save them in your sim’s inventory or place them in their homes,” an example of which you can see on the wall of the Sims in the image. It’s a two-by-two grid rather than a strip of four, but I suppose it’s too much to expect a photobooth in a digital world to be a dip-and-dunk model…

Brian | 7:10 am | In the News
March 30, 2006

metro_mall.jpgToday’s New York Times brings us the story of Jacques Vidal, an artist who is organizing what he calls a “surrealist county fair” in the Metro Mall in Middle VIllage, Queens. The fair, which takes place April 1, will feature a “chewing gum brain,” erupting volcanoes a la the second grade, and posters and sculptures, all in an “absurd space where all is equal.”

He later said, “The final product will be among the most confusing and jarring public art events in recent memory placed in the context of a forgotten Queens relic.” The exhibit will take place at a food court where all but one restaurant has closed. A partly lighted sign advertises Weight Watchers. Near a GNC and Sam Goody (“Store closing, entire store on sale!”), a cardboard Statue of Liberty beckons one past a storefront dentist to Liberty Tax. A photo booth waits. There is the sweet scent of Subway bread baking.

The story is illustrated with a photostrip of Vidal held in front his face, taken by James Estrin for the New York Times. We hope the organizers are aware of the power the photobooth held for the Surrealists; they can read all about it in this 2004 Guardian article.

March 29, 2006

bbc4.jpgBack in January, was contacted by a BBC reporter for information about the history of the photobooth for the program (or should we say ‘programme’) You and Yours. I went into the lovely studios of WXXI here in Rochester, New York to do an interview with the reporter, Liza Booth, on January 23. It was a new experience for me, a trans-Atlantic digital link-up during which we chatted about photobooths, my interest, the website, and their history. Last Friday, March 24, the episode, called “The thriving face of photo booths,” finally aired.

The story, which runs nearly ten minutes, details the history of the photobooth, its current incarnations, and a few of the films in which photobooths have made appearances. Photobooth artist, collector, and Photobooth Convention founder Steve Howard, a.k.a. Mixup is featured, as well as “historian for,” yours truly. You can either listen to the BBC’s Real Audio link or to our mp3: The thriving face of photo booths (1.7 mb mp3, 9:27)

March 28, 2006

Since we began blogging all things photobooth here a year ago, we’ve used a variety of sources to get our information. One of the more entertaining is the Flickr feed for photos tagged with the word “photobooth,” which often includes some great photostrips from around the country, and occasionally the Flickr member will be kind enough to name the location, so we can add it to our massive ‘to do’ list of places to visit. 

Recently, though, first with the introduction of Apple’s “Photo Booth” software, and then with the advent of Shine SF’s photobooth that publishes digital photos through Flickr, the stream has become clogged with photos that, while fun, aren’t really what we’re looking for. That’s why it’s been a pleasant surprise, for the last few months now, to be witness to the growing phenomenon that is Photobooth Friday.

As Photobooth Friday founder Andrea at hula seventy writes, 

…because I love photobooths and I love fridays. I think the two should kiss and make nice and be all lovey-dovey with each other and become like, the hot new couple on campus. if you haven’t already figured it out, I am unnaturally obsessed with photobooths. am thinking that this weekly feature may be just the perfect outlet for my borderline kooky fixation. I’ll be pulling goodies from my ever-growing collection of both personal and vintage found photobooth snapshots. will blissfully share with all who are willing to revel in 35 years of photobooth love. 

That was January, and since then, every Friday, more and more photobooth photos have shown up either linked in her weekly post (the most recent is here) or tagged with “photoboothfriday” in Flickr. 

Thanks to Andrea for giving a shout out to the site in her blog, and for organizing this weekly treat. It’s only Tuesday, so you’ve got time to get your photos ready for this Friday’s installment, and help put some real and interesting photobooth photos out in the Flickr world. 

March 21, 2006

The photobooth gallery exhibit entitled “A $3 Love Affair” has extended its deadline for submissions until April 1, and changed the opening date to April 8. Brian blogged about the show in late February.

Tim | 1:44 am | Art
March 19, 2006

In conjunction with a new exhibition of the paintings of David Hockney, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has temporarily installed a photobooth, the Boston Globe reports. In the article, which centers on the photobooth itself rather than the exhibtion, reporter Deborah Fineblum Raub describes the booth as an opportunity to make art after seeing it, “at $2 a pop.” More than 1500 visitors have used the booth since it was installed when the exhibition opened in February. MFA Director Malcolm Rogers, through a spokeswoman, is quoted saying 

Our vintage photo booth allows our visitors — compelled by the candidness and immediacy of Hockney’s portraits — to create their own black and white portraits.

The exhibition closes May 14, 2006; I’ll be visiting in April when I’m next in Boston, and invite any of our Hub-area readers to do the same and let us know how it goes. 

March 13, 2006

This week’s Gothamist interview is with advice columnist Judy McGuire, who writes the Dategirl column in the Seattle Weekly. The accompanying photo of McGuire is a great black and white photobooth shot, perhaps taken at one of the many Seattle-area photobooth locations. 

Brian | 9:24 pm | In the News
March 06, 2006

Bark Magazine, Issue 33Babbette Hines strikes again, this time with dogs. In issue #33 of Bark Magazine, she contributes a number of dog photobooth pictures from her collection. Unfortunately the magazine is no longer on shelves, and we are still trying to track down a copy. If any one of you has this issue, we’d appreciate a scan.

Thanks to Monte and Angel for the tip!

While we’re not sure where to file it on, it is also worth mentioning that Chronicle Books published postcard versions of some of the images from Babbette’s book.