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New vs Old

February 10, 2012

Just when you think that something’s out of fashion it comes back. You might not even notice, but we certainly are enjoying a lot of things from the past – people are learning the crafts that were popular with their grandparents, it’s no longer a shame to admit that you live in the country and we value anything homemade more than we have ever done. Right? But if you’re grumbling that these examples are too simple and that all I’m doing is talking about ladies knitting, looking after their chicken or stirring some thick jam… you should have a closer look at our cultural life.

Let me start with Music. CDs or vinyl records?  I think a true music lover would choose the latter and probably would claim that the sound quality of vinyl is higher compared to newer formats. According to Wikipedia “vinyl records lost popularity but never went out of production”. If this wasn’t enough “in recent years vinyl is gaining popularity, while CD record shops have gone out of business, more and more vinyl only record shops are opening”.

What if we look at Literature? You might have noticed that book shops are full – first of all their shelves are stacked with publications that cover every imaginable subject and second – the floors are made dirty by keen readers, who still haven’t turned to Kindle. We might be encountering more and more of literature visualization – according to Dusan Knezevic a hot term right now, but “its roots reach back in the first half of the last century and it actually hides recorded story telling or popular film stars children’ literature reading video sessions”, that have now evolved into “literature digitization, e-book publishing and Book Teaser Videos”. Yet let me ask you – what’s the most important thing? My answer would be – a good story, that captures one’s attention; just like in our childhood, when a nice tale read from the favourite book before going to bed became the highlight of the day.

Finally we come to Art. Nowadays we see more and more hybrid artworks. Liz Goldner says “artists’ merge several styles including abstraction with figurative work; obscure references with blatant writings; symbolic narrative with bold splashes of color.” So it is an era of mixed media and collage, that sometimes might turn art into something uncomprehensible. More and more often we see “artwork that 100 years ago would not be considered art”, yet when we come to value and financial matters – the most expensive pieces are still the ones that have been painted by the most skillful artists of the past – Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt or Paul Cezanne.

In fact in order to have a closer look at “new vs old” we don’t even need to leave our house. Lets have a peek at the latest interior design trends – they can easily be called “resurrection of the past”. All you require to make your home stylish is antique wallpaper, art nouveau  furniture and nostalgic vintage accessories. Oh, you could also invite your friends for a tea party, offer some homemade cup cakes and trust me, you will be that mega fashionable person they’ll be talking about for a few more weeks!

I guess there’s enough on the subject – we have lots of good “old” that can still be enjoyed together with or go side by side with the “new”. We also shouldn’t forget the saying that sometimes “good new things are just well forgotten old ones”. By the way, have you got one like that?

— — —

Why I wrote this post.

A few weeks ago I was given and old Praktica camera. I was over the moon with the present (it came with a few more lenses and a flash), yet I still haven’t used it! I’m so scared of doing something wrong… I’m used to digital that allows “not to think” and just press the button, while my new/old Praktica will have to teach me some responsibility – to look for the photos that are worth taking.

So this is my good new or simply just a well forgotten old.

P.S. A useful link for anyone with a camera that past its “sell by” date – free instructions and user manuals that have been kindly put online by Michael Butkus.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 10, 2012 10:33 am

    There’s a very interesting article in Vanity Fair on our culture which recycles trends from previous decades- as the 2000s seem to be without its own identity (according to the writer)- its very much in vein with the observations you’ve made- check it out! It’s very interesting…

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