Archive: In the News
Well, so it’s not quite here, but it’s been designed, it’s beautiful, and it’s going to press this week. We have the talented Jared Purrington to thank for the awesome design (and our buddy Keith to thank for hooking us up with Jared), and L.A.’s Level Press to thank for the screen printing. The posters will be for sale at the convention next month, and any left over will be available for sale through the website. It’s getting closer, folks…
My how time flies. The 2012 International Photobooth Convention is just a month away.
As the planning goes on behind the scenes, we’ve added a few events to the schedule. The Los Angeles Photobooth Crawl has been on the books for awhile, and on Sunday, I visited eight photobooth locations on a dry run for the event. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Last night, we actually closed registration for this post-convention event, which will happen on Sunday night, May 20. We’ve reached capacity at this point, but will be keeping a wait list, as people’s plans will undoubtedly change in the next month or so. Contact us if you’d like to get on the wait list.
Back by popular demand, Anthony Vizzari of A & A Studios in Chicago will be leading another workshop, in which convention-goers can learn “Alternative Processes in Photostrip Reproduction.” The workshop will be held on Saturday at 4:00 pm, and will focus on the hand reproduction of photobooth photographs. The workshop will be more of a lab than an instructional session, and experimentation will be encouraged. The workshop is limited to 15 participants, and has a $25 fee for materials. Sign up for the event by emailing me.
As part of the convention, we’re assembling what should be a terrific show of photobooth art. As we work on putting that together, we’ve spruced up some of the listings in our Art section. We’ve added a few photos of artists that were missing before, and added some new artists as well.
We’ve also been working on other sections of the site. We’ve added what is just the third film we’ve found from that photobooth heyday decade, the 1950s. The film is Quicksand, a film noir starring Mickey Rooney (yes, noir Mickey Rooney) and Peter Lorre, who plays a man who runs an arcade on the pier, complete with a Photomatic booth. Thanks to Elisa for the tip.
A remarkable video clip made its way around the web last week showing a man in a nursing home coming to life after hearing some of his favorite music. The clip is from a documentary feature called Alive Inside, and we caught a glimpse of some photobooth photos in one scene.
In the realm of TV, we added scenes from a 1985 episode of the British talk show Wogan, in which guest Liz Rideal talks about her massive photobooth collage project, which is seen on stage. Thanks, Liz!
And finally, I’m a little embarrassed to admit it’s taken me this long, but I’ve finally added two new photobooth locations in my own backyard here in L.A. The Churchill in West Hollywood and Mohawk Bend in Echo Park both feature Photo-Me Model 21s that get a lot of use. We’re always glad to see new booth locations to help balance out the ones that disappear each month. Speaking of, the legendary Lakeside Lounge in New York is closing this month, and they’re looking for a new home for their beloved photobooth. Help keep this photobooth alive and well and in the East Village!
As we settle back in from the Lausanne and Zurich trip and look forward to the 2012 Convention in less than three months, we’re also keeping up with new additions to the site from things we’ve spotted ourselves to the many contributions we receive from our readers every week. Thanks again, everyone, for getting in touch.
First, we’ll start with the moving image. We’ve known about a photostrip appearance in the short-lived Craig T. Nelson show “The District” since we started the site, but never had a chance to get proof. We did some trawling and finally came up with the images from an episode called “Rage.”
Just a few weeks ago, and honest-to-goodness photochemical machine showed up on “Saturday Night Live” when Zooey Deschanel, already an aficionado of the booth both personally and professionally, hosted the show. A sketch called “Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel” saw Deschanel playing Mary-Kate Olsen, and Abby Elliott playing Deschanel.
After meeting brothers Russ and Greg Goeken in Lausanne, we’re now happy to be able to list their photobooths in our directory: Greg runs the booth at the Shangri-La in Austin, and Russ oversees the booth at the Congress Street Social Club in Savannah, Georgia.
We’ve heard about some booths in Atlanta over the years, but never had any confirmation (jklax, I’m looking at you), so this booth marks the first booth in our listings from Georgia, and is certainly the only photochemical machine in Savannah. Here’s to many years of success for both booths in these great cities.
We have a number of new books listed, from books made in photobooths to books about photobooths to books that merely mention the machines. First, Paul Yates kindly sent us a copy of his new book, Privacy is a Myth. The book’s Blurb page describes it as “a monograph of Filmmaker Paul Yates’ 25 years of photobooth photography. From Surreal to Sexy, from Degenerate to Intimate–these photobooth strips reveal more about Yates’ personal life than one could imagine. Homeless at 15, already an artist, Yates struggled to find an outlet for his passions…the ubiquitous photobooth machine was his answer!”
We added a couple of books with mentions of the booth this week as well: from James Marshall’s well-known “George and Martha” series, the book Tons of Fun features a “Clickopics” photobooth.
Once again, we need to thank Les Matons for more in their steady stream of contributions: this week, they tipped us off to a catalog from a 1985 show about identity photos that features many photobooth works: Identités.
Additionally, they clued us in to the French recording artist Kim, who has used photobooth photos on at least fifteen albums, singles, and E.P.s over the last two decades. We’ve listed as many as we could find (currently at fifteen) in our Music section, from this split single from 1994 to La cuisine selon certains principles from 2001. More information on Kim (born Kim Stanislas Giani in 1977) on his site and on French Wikipedia.
It was a great night for fans of the photobooth as the Musée de l’Elysée’s long-awaited exhibition opened to the public, with a packed house of hundreds of photobooth enthusiasts, photography buffs, historians, artists, and others filled the museum’s three floors and kept the photobooth in the cafe running non-stop.
I saw a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, some of whom we’ve known for years, others just a few days. It was great to finally meet Marco Ferrari, as well as Les Matons, Helene and Christian, all of whom have been invaluable sources of news and information for the site. It was also great to see Igor again, in a meeting as brief as our first one, last year in Paris.
I arrived in Lausanne yesterday and made my way straight to the museum for the opening walk-through and “friends of the museum” reception. The show is terrific; I saw everything over the course of the night, but didn’t examine anything in detail, saving it for today or tomorrow when I’ll have more time. I also forced myself not to bring my camera, which was the right move, because it meant I actually got to talk to people instead of worrying about what I was and wasn’t taking pictures or video of. I met many of the artists whose work is in the show, and was happy to see our old friends Danny, Nakki, and Anthony and Andrea. It was also a pleasure to meet the wonderful staff of the museum who have put together a brilliant show, and who have been so helpful as I’ve worked on the text and video.
Rob and Anthony have whipped the photobooth into beautiful working order, and all of the guests at last night’s event had a blast taking photos.
The show is certainly a big event in Lausanne, with lots of press coverage and these great posters all over the city:
I’ll be doing interviews with artists today and the opening reception for the public is tonight. All photobooth all the time!
The photobooth show has now gone live on the front page of the Musée de l’Elysée website, and an extensive press kit for the show is now available for download. Check it out to find out more about the show, the artists, and the museum. Additionally, good news for photobooth enthusiasts around Europe: the show will be traveling to Brussels and Vienna later on in the year.
We were thrilled to receive a copy of the catalog for the Musée de l’Elysée show yesterday, a few days before the show opens to the public. I have to say I was taken aback when I saw how substantial it was; I don’t think I was expecting something quite so massive, more than 300 pages in length. It is an absolutely gorgeous piece of work. The partially transparent slipcover has an image of a photobooth curtain on it, and, when removed, it reveals a bright orange hardbound cover with the same text as on the slipcover embossed directly into the fabric. It has to be seen to be appreciated, and is the sort of tactile detail that reinforces my unease about the transition to digital books.
At first glance, the catalog is an impressive balance of text and images, with many iconic pieces well represented, from Warhol’s silkscreens to the Amélie-inspiring scrapbook of Michele Folco, from Dick Jewell’s found photos and André Breton’s self-portrait, as well as recent work by Danny Minnick, Marc Bellini, and others. I haven’t gone through it with a fine-toothed comb, but I look forward to discovering some unknown examples of photobooth art as I read it over.
The entire catalog is in French, and it’s quite something to see one’s work written so convincingly in a language one doesn’t speak. I thank the skillful translator for transforming my brief essays on photobooths in film into a nice-looking chapter near the end of the book.
The curators and scholars involved in putting this exceptional work together deserve hearty congratulations, and have created a work that will add immensely to the available body of knowledge about photobooths in history, art, and culture. Bring on the show!
We’re just over two weeks away from the opening of the Musée de l’Elysée’s major photobooth exhibition, and the official announcement has just gone out. We’re posting it here in its full version, and then zoomed in a bit so you can read the text.
The card features artist Gillian Wearing’s 2003 piece “Self Portrait at 17 Years Old.”
We’re excited to see many names we recognize, many people we count as friends, and a number of artists and photographers we’re not familiar with, as well. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there.
We’ve just covered the appearance of Jack White on “American Pickers” as he said goodbye to the booth used in the video for the song “Hang You from the Heavens” by his band The Dead Weather. One of the other members of The Dead Weather is Allison Mosshart, who’s best known for her work in her band The Kills. She obviously shares an affinity for photobooths with White, as she and Jamie Hince have used photobooth pictures on at least three of The Kills’ releases: “Keep on Your Mean Side,” “Fried My Little Brains” and “No Wow.”
In an interesting confluence of events, just a few days after the Dead Weather booth appeared on television, The Kills have released a video for their new single, “Last Goodbye,” set in a photobooth. Actress and director Samantha Morton directed the video, and spoke about the video for Nowness:
After being sent a live performance of the track, Morton prepared a treatment referencing an Allen Ginsberg book, the works of Robbie Miller, Jack Clayton’s The Innocents, and photo booths. “I miss the quality of a ‘real’ photo booth—nowadays everything is so cheap and quick,” says the star of such films as Minority Report and Control. “The track felt incredibly nostalgic; the same way I feel about the machines.” Unbeknown to Morton, the photo booth is central to band members Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince’s ten-year partnership: the pair seek out the devices when on tour to record their travels. But Morton managed to renew the experience: “Samantha has this crazy way of inviting you into a fantasy world where you don’t feel stupid or awkward,” he says. “She had dramatic classical music that she’d play instead of our track. It made you perform completely differently. There’s a beauty and magic in it that I could never have imagined.” Here Morton reveals her nostalgia for photo booths and love of monochrome.
Where did the photo booth idea come from?
I liked photo booths and I missed them. I love the fact that when you used to go to a photo booth, sometimes you used to have wait a good 20 minutes. Sometimes, I remember, if they were really crap, you’d have to wait forever. You’d go off for a cup of tea and you’d come back to get your passport pictures. Also, it was quite expensive when we were young. It was a real treat. Now, it’s still expensive, but you just get these horrible images of yourself that won’t last in the same way. The song was incredibly nostalgic and I think that made me feel nostalgic.
Watch the video and see the “real” photobooth for yourself.