Arriving home from the weekend, we upload and post our pictures and video on social media, which sounds impressive to our parents. In reality, its just the latest form of setting up the projector at the cocktail party and stultifying the guests with home movies. (See Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy perform this ancient ritual in 1949, in George Cukors brilliant Adams Rib.) At his talk and screening, Lost Landscapes of San Francisco 4, film archivist Rick Prelinger makes the point that although much remains the same, we now take more pictures than ever before. The explosion of personal documentation, from the frightening in number (baby pictures) to the frightening in content (Karina Vargas and Margarita Carazos Oscar Grant cellphone videos), will change the future, and even the future of history, Prelinger maintains. As such, the subject is perfect as part of the Long Now Foundations Seminars About Long-Term Thinking someday, JPEGs will be as old-fashioned as Super 8 film.
Fri., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., 2009