October, 2006

October 31, 2006

Another update of photobooth news from around the world of the arts, from music to museums to found photos, plus a few cases of run-ins with the law:

  • Beck’s new album The Information features a lyric about photobooths, as reported in a recent review:

Take a little picture in a photobooth/
Keep it in a locket and I think of you/
Both of our pictures, face to face/
Take off your necklace and throw it away

In 2003, Wearing exhibited five eerie photos of members of her family. We seemed to be looking at snapshots of the artist’s mother and father; a professional headshot of her smiling uncle; a snapshot of her shirtless brother in his bedroom brushing elbow-length hair; and a photo-booth picture of the artist herself at 17.


  • Across the Channel in France, photobooth (or should we say photomaton) photos are featured at the Centre Pompidou. Thanks to Pat for the tip on these anonymous 1929 photos. Check out this solo photo and this strip as well. (If these links don’t work, search for ‘photomaton’ on the site).

  • Something we haven’t noted before, a wonderful collection of found photos, more than 200 in all, at, “a gallery of vintage snapshots & vernacular photography.” 

  • On a different note, we have news of more lewdness in the photobooth on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

  • And finally, the story of a rejected passport application based on the photobooth photo the girl’s family provided. 

A five-year-old girl’s passport application was rejected because her photograph showed her bare shoulders. Hannah Edwards’s mother, Jane, was told that the exposed skin might be considered offensive in a Muslim country. The photograph was taken at a photo-booth at a local post office for a family trip to the south of France.

Photo: Photomaton, Anonymous 1929. Centre Pompidou

October 28, 2006

In an article about a digital photobooth that projected photos of attendees on the wall at a Whitney Museum benefit last week, Moby voiced his support of real, honest-to-goodness old-style photobooths. When asked if he took part, he replied,

No, I didn’t do that,” he said. “There was a long line for it. And I used to go to the photo booth machine…there’s an arcade on Mott Street, way down in Chinatown, that has this great photo booth machine and, it seems, this is nice but sort of a pale imitation to the real thing. I’m sort of a purist, I think.”

Glad to hear we’ve got another ally in the fight to keep dip-and-dunk photobooths alive.

October 28, 2006

1_punk.jpgA recent project based in the UK documents the unheralded members of the punk generation, thirty years on, through photobooth pictures. The project, called 100 Punks, draws parallels between photobooths and punk:

Never more so was this the case, than with the punk generation. Like punk, the machines were cheap, instant and easy to operate, once inside, there were no rules, perhaps the only time the subject could be in total control of the image they portrayed to the rest of the world. Each hair colour caught, new relationship captured. Self-concious, self portraits of the not so blank generation.

Check out the project online and in various galleries and museums in the coming year.

Brian | 5:01 pm | Art, Music, Projects
October 19, 2006

First, a piece in the ‘Currents’ section of the Wilmington, North Carolina Star-News asks Where’s the downtown photo booth? The article seems to be a series of small commentaries, but the layout is such that the headline for each section looks like the rest of the body text, so it’s a little hard to read, but among headlines like “What’s worse? Being drunk in public? Or snapping photos of it?” and “Audience Nonparticipation,” about the fact that people haven’t been participating in this particular newspaper column, the author wonders about the lack of photobooths in town:

When I first moved to Wilmington and tried out different downtown bars, I wondered: Where’s the downtown bar photo booth? When I lived in Orlando several years ago, there were quite a few of those classic photo booths in downtown bars, and a constant slew of hipsters wearing scarves in July bucked up to them. I had several friends who had multiple stacks of photo strips at home. I’m talking in the hundreds. They’re like documents, proof, evidence of good time and bad. Plus, it’s fun to make faces and think you’re cool. So, where’s the local booth? I can’t think of a single bar where a photo booth wouldn’t do gangbusters business. It’s something the $1 PBR and $10 martini crowds could really get behind. Somebody needs to get on this.

Next, a poll by Creative Bulletin lists the Hamlet cigar ad featuring “Baldy Man” in a photobooth as the fourth best (British) TV ad of all time. 

daddy_long_legs.jpgFinally, Gridskipper brings us a review of the Daddy Long Legs Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, whose thirteen rooms are each individually decorated by an artist. One of the rooms, called the Photo Booth, features the work of artist Antony Smyth, who took photos of Cape Town residents with his camera and white backdrop, and used 3,240 images on raised blocks to cover the walls. So while the photos aren’t true photobooth images, this room is a definite must-visit photobooth location.

Brian | 7:48 am | In the News