Wake up. Turn your computer on. Check your inbox, the news, your calendar, social network. Synchronise your phone. Check weather.com to see what conditions to expect today. ‘Bleep’, your morning coffee is ready. Start your car with the touch of a button. Swipe in at the office. Turn your computer on. Check your inbox, the news, your calendar, social network. Open an e-card from your best friend wishing you a ‘Happy Birthday’. Rub your aching eyes and wonder why you communicate all day without really talking to anybody. ‘Bleep’, your afternoon coffee is ready. Start your car with the touch of a button. Check your inbox, the news, your calendar, social network. Check weather.com to see what conditions to expect tomorrow. ‘Bleep’ your dinner is ready. Eat it, sleep, dream of what you saw today on your monitor and leave the bits behind.
Wake up. Look, blink, and look again, scrutinising what you see; it all seems so absurd, comical, somehow different. Your bed, the chair, the sky, your hand, colours, shapes, sense, nonsense; everything is strange, funny, closer, new. You see the sun shining through your window casting a beautiful shadow on the floor, little particles of dust floating through the air, you hear music playing even though your iPod is off and you realise; you are surrounded by beauty. Notice. Relax. Take the risk of not knowing, of not controlling everything. Let loose, embrace the uncertainty and go with the flow. You begin to rediscover the analogue world. Don’t fight it; you’re a Lomographer.
Kiss the girl or boy sitting next to you on the tram. You’ll either earn a slap in the face or have the best journey on public transport that you’ve ever had; either way it will be unforgettable. Use that dormant imagination to experiment and add some unexpected spice to your well-ordered life. Perhaps you discover that there’s a 6th continent on Earth or a treasure chest buried in your garden, or that the Beatles recorded another White Album on a comfy crackling 7" record. There’s an excitement that questions everything you thought you knew. Well, every minute and every second of your life can be like that! Trial and error is your policy. Action and reaction your strategy. Believe in yourself, never stop looking, never stop asking and never stop recording.
Each person sees the world differently: for Rembrandt it was dark and gloomy, for Gauguin; bright and funny, for the Impressionists; blurry with thick strokes. Great art is not imitation but interpretation of the world. The world to you, the Lomographer, is like a giant apple pie: hot, deliciously glowing and you can’t get enough, consuming every last crumb of it. You not only perceive colours more intensely but people, faces, stories. The very essence of your being starts vibrating. You’re absorbing it all, sponge-like. Beauty appears where you least expected it and once again you realise; it doesn’t matter so much what something looks like, but how you look at it.
You are on a student exchange in a foreign country. You meet a lot of people and feel the need to impress them; the Italians cook, the Russians drink, the Spanish play guitar, the Japanese sing, the Americans dance, the Tyroleans yodel. You surely are a very intelligent, amiable, friendly person. But all you’ve done in the last 10 years is programming websites, writing blogs and beating high scores in Tetris. You figure to yourself; all these skills are virtual, existing in the digital realm but not in the real world. Have you considered that it’s more attractive to play the piano than to twitter? It’s exciting to touch something, to feel it, smell it, taste it, to have something in your hands that doesn’t disappear with the click of a button. Analogue is authentic, real, immediate. And so is life. And so is analogue photography. And so is Lomography.
As a wide-eyed Lomographer you are a human vacuum cleaner. You suck up all the information around you; you are thirsty for everything exciting, funny, wild, arousing and different. Your sensual perception; seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting is more acute than that of other human beings. Yet, even you have to take care that you don’t miss out on a diamond in the rough. Remember when you had to listen to Mozart’s ‘The magic flute’ as a child and were bored stiff? Now you realize it’s one of the most wonderful works of art ever made. Don’t throw away your photographs. Pictures that don’t grab your attention today might do tomorrow, the day after or in your next life. Rediscovering means rein-venting your: taste, style, habits and general understanding of the world. A true revolution. Look twice to find real beauty.
Have you ever left the house and half way through your journey you realise that you’ve left your mobile phone at home? It doesn’t really pay to go back, so you just spend the day without it. You feel a strange sense of freedom that you haven’t felt for a long time. Your mum, dad, boss, colleagues, girlfriend, boyfriend, landlord, the ministry of finance or whoever can’t reach you. No one can change your plans right here and right now. You are a boat, the world is an ocean and you are floating along wherever it might take you with the wind in your sails. Nothing else matters; you’re alright as long as you’re with your Lomo.
In the 19th century it was believed that the emerging technique of photography would replace painting. It was obviously better at depicting reality, which painting was mostly about back then. Surprisingly however, painting didn’t die but instead dived into expressionism, cubism, dadaism, surrealism – art forms that went beyond the simple replication of reality and broke ground for totally new and breathtaking perspectives. Through the challenge of the new, the old re-invents itself and breaks free from all conventions. It finds styles, relations and languages that remain undiscovered within the mainstream. Therefore analogue is the most exciting form of expression nowadays; the avant-garde of the 21st century.
There are no limits to your creativity and the analogue world is far from being fully explored. It’s like cooking your uncle’s famous Borscht recipe but adding a magic touch to it with a few extra ingredients. Your guests will say “Mmm that’s delicious”, or “I’ve never tasted anything like this”, or “Can you give me the recipe for that?”. You discover that if you are inventive and trust your gut feeling, new and awesome things arise naturally. A Lomographer can survive everything but repetition. Therefore he is creative to the max. Analogue life is not a step into the past but a glimpse into the future.
It sounds as unbelievable as it’s simple; choose analogue and your whole life will change. You learn to trust your senses rather than an LCD, you poke your nose into everything, you realise that the best things in life happen spontaneously and that curiosity is the most natural thing in the world. Your friends tell you, “There’s something about you, you’re different, you glow, you’re vibrating”. And they will immediately understand; living analogue is sexy, contagious, tantalising. Girls and boys love it and girls and boys love you for loving it. Yet, a little helping of digital technology is not a crime. Live offline but share online. Have fun, laugh, flirt, seduce (with your camera), remember (on film), don’t worry (in life) and shoot from the hip.