April, 2007

April 23, 2007

hypnotism.jpgAs we mentioned last month, hypnotist Derren Brown lured a student into a photobooth in the UK, at which point Brown and his team hypnotized the student, brought him (and the makeshift photobooth) to Marrakech, Morocco, and then woke him up.

A video of the segment, or at least eight minutes of it, is now available on YouTube. The photobooth, equipped with speakers and hidden cameras, is set up near Richard Crichtlow’s flat, and — here’s the convenient, made-for-tv part — he needs to get some passport photos, and steps in. Watch the video for the rest of the mildly entertaining but slightly underwhelming story.

April 21, 2007

chezhin.jpgThe longer we look into the world of photobooths, the more people we find doing striking, fascinating, and surprising things with the the photos these machines produce. Today, we present two artists whose work take advantage of the ubiquity, affordability, and malleability of the photobooth photo, one older Russian and one young American.

The Russian artist, Andrey Chezhin, has work featured in a new exhibition called “Tools As Art: The Hechinger Collection,” opening April 27 at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design. A preview in the San Jose Mercury-news describes the show, and mentions Chezhin’s work:

Russian artist Andrey Chezhin used discarded photo booth head shots, replacing facial features with hardware, as a political statement about the loss of individual identity.

Read our artist page for Chezhin, a small Andrey Chezhin biography and C.V., and look at some of his other work.

minnick.jpgWe were also contacted this week by Daniel Minnick, much of whose work features photostrips and individual photobooth photos, sometimes simply by themselves and also heavily altered with added lines, colors, and shapes.

Minnick is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, and has been featured in solo and group shows around California.

A look around Minnick’s online gallery is well worth the time; click on each individual photo or strip to see a series of related works featuring photobooth photos. They range from simple self-portraits to complex series, and exploit the versatility of the black and white photobooth in interesting ways.

Brian | 2:31 pm | Art
April 14, 2007

The first time I did this was nearly a year ago, but the random Google search is back, and today’s word is “custody.” The most interesting hit on the first page of results is the story of Graham Young, the St. Albans Poisoner, a man who poisoned more than 70 people in his life, three of them fatally, beginning when he was just 15. Young was seen to be a generally creepy young man, unnverving those around him before and after he was finally caught by the police:

Young clearly enjoyed conveying such a chilling impression. When the press asked for a picture of the defendant, he insisted they use one in which he looked particularly cold-eyed and sinister. As it happened, the glowering photograph actually came about by accident. Holden explains that Young was scowling because he thought he had been cheated out of some money by the coin-operated photo booth where the picture was taken.

Young’s story was the basis for a film called The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, which, incidentally, I saw in October of 1995, with the director, Ben Ross, in person at the Cambridge Arts Cinema in England. Fascinating, I’m sure. I wonder if the photobooth photo made an appearance in the film…

Brian | 11:27 am | Site News
April 11, 2007

Every time we discover a new photobooth, another one seems to disappear. Sometimes this happens to the same booth, and today we present listings for two photobooths in the Los Angeles area that came and went before we even had a chance to notice. Ricky visited photobooths at a salon called Lucas Echo Park and at a nearby Rite Aid pharmacy in December; by the time I visited in March, they were both gone. Another one of Ricky’s submissions, the photobooth at Café 50s in Sherman Oaks, has also gone away, replaced by a digital booth. 

While we’re happy to be an up-to-date guide for people looking for photobooths to visit as they travel the country, we also think it’s important to keep track of those dip and dunk photobooths that are no longer with us, or no longer where they once were. As we move into our third year of operation and get closer to a whopping 200 photobooths in our directory, look for some changes to the way we present our listings, making them easier to search and browse, and making it easier to tell which booths are still actually up and running.