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I grew up watching Joe Dante’s films.

I guess that any neophyte will justify their actions according to the patterns instilled during childhood. Science fiction novels, comics, and cinema specially have stirred the imagination of a future for many generations. And I also guess we will have to mention that prank of a movie released in the 80’s. I am talking about Gremlins**.

In the opening scene, Randall – the father of the main character, Billy – goes into a rarities shop to buy a souvenir in China before flying back home for Christmas. And there he finds cute Gizmo hidden in a box.

We have witnessed different passions emerge in due time, and later on fade away. Decades after the 2nd World War technological innovations developed significantly. This was for Cristopher Booker** the appropriate moment and time to coin the expression neophiliacs. By this he pointed at the pop generations interested in art and technology, who would later become leaders of the changes in store for Great Britain.

The author raises his point about a change in model that placed new age gurus as technocrats, instead of philosophers, humanists or politicians. There has undoubtedly been a change in the tendency regarding worldwide rulers – it is now the ideologists of change who have their say. First it was the social change (Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King), and then the technological change (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg).

Therefore to put the neophiliacs introduced by Booker into context, we have to immerse ourselves in a technological universe, and analyse the new behaviour as a combination of technology and consumerism. Bereft of any mystical sense, this word now labels new technology geeks, eager consumers of the latest novelties.

Imágenes vía: @caronteenlaorilla – Instagram, Óscar Caro

I eagerly await new concepts and processes.  I believe the electronic image will be the next major advance.  Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics, and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them.”

Ansel Adams*

The announcement Ansel Adams pronounced became true at the end of last century, when light was converted into electromagnetic impulses that generated a binary combination transformed later into a digital image. We have experienced an extraordinary progress in the last couple of decades – the time the digital dimension has taken to finally overtake, and overcome the analogical world.

And then the iPhone (2007) entered the scene.

Since the digital photography came into our lives, paper prints have basically become extinct, and we only see the captures on screens. With the demand of high resolution prints, for a large public it makes no longer sense having a (compact) camera, nowadays Smart phones serve as cameras with the added value of capturing moments and sharing them in real time in the social media.

Jellybean, IFA Berlin, Oculus, CES Las Vegas, OK Glass, Photokina, Marshmallow, DualPixel.1

I read, see, and listen people non-stop theorising about what technologies hold in the future for us. I have no other choice but to follow blogs, gurus, geeks, and freaks to keep up with trends launched by large corporations in order to surprise their loyal users.

I feel like Neo confronted to Morfeo, in Matrix**:

Should I choose the blue pill and turn back?

I can’t help it; I follow the yellow tiles, and choose the red pill.”

Being a neophyte implies to concentrate on your obsession to know more, to quest. To worship your technology provider above all. I cannot help feeling like an outcast in a society that follows closely tendencies, when I try to lead the way. It responds to the need to be part of something bigger, of longing to be accepted by people you don’t even know.

Being conscious of the risk that implies purchasing Gizmo, Randall knows he has in his power something unique.

Social media had alienated us, and we now search endlessly for hyper-relationships. We are always connected to a network that sometimes is unreal, in order to maintain a constant communication. Applications such as Instagram have incorporated a new concept between the artist and the public in photography, or have provided an interaction between the amateur and professional.

#nofilter, crop, hashtag, #streetphotography, followers, foodies, cloudporn, HDR.2

People ask me very often how can they take better photographs to impress their social networks, how to make their images stand out from the rest. It’s a vicious circle of a product that makes the difference.

IMPOSSIBLE purchased the last POLAROID facilities, when the latter announced that they will stop manufacturing instant films in 2008.

In May 2016 they will start commercialising a new camera (IMPOSSIBLE I-1)

Will it have survived without being backed by an expansion in applications that incorporate that look into our mobile devices?

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Steve Jobs*

We live in a technology-prone era where innovation provides advanced interconnections, such as drones, virtual reality, domotics, smart watches, smart bands, connected tattoos. Everything revolves around mobile phones. We are constantly invited to share our experience of usage in social media, in real time, and instantly.

Social media are also proving to be a good channel to finance and promote projects of varied nature – technology, artistic, micropatronage crowdfunding, iAd, AroundMe, googleAds, etc.

Unboxing, tutorial, periscope, one more thing, mentions, kickstarter, boomerang, grafeno.3

It’s difficult to ignore the hyper technological progress around us.

And then, the day of the presentation finally comes.

It looks like the previous version, but with some different features.

Product launch in two weeks.

Benchmarks.

I have got the money.

Only two days to go.

Homeless.

Second in the queue.

Event at the Store.

Applause.

I just want to be part of this.

(**) “Gremlins” (Joe Dante, 1984)

            “The neophiliacs: A Study of the Revolution in English Life in the Fifties and Sixties.” (C. Booker, 1969).

            “Matrix” (Lana & Lilly Wachowski, 1999).

(*)Ansel Adams, The Negative (1981, xiii)

Steve Jobs, “The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs,” (Carmine Gallo, 2001).

Glossary 1:

Jellybean: Name given to Android version 4.3.

IFA Berlin: Annual technology trade fair held in Berlin (September).

Oculus: Virtual reality helmet.

CES Las Vegas: Annual technology fair held in Las Vegas (January).

OK Glass: Voice recognition command for GoogleGlass (intelligent glasses).

Photokina: Photography and video trade fair held every two years in Germany.

Marshmallow: Android version 6.0.

Dual Pixel: Autofocus technology created by Canon.

Glossary 2:

#nofilter: Hashtag that refers to photographs posted without any filers/touches.

Crop: The act of cropping an image. Instagram brought back the square layout in their early days.

Hashtag: Label used to index searches, when placed after #.

#streetphotography: Street photography, very popular nowadays, fuelled by the success Instagram and the mirrorless.

Followers: In Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, followers are contacts that follow closely your activity.

Foodies: Food photography specialists.

Cloudporn: Cloudy skies, magic sunsets.

HDR: High Dynamic Range – a technic in photography that combines 3 captures in 1. It is gradually being used in video as well.

Glossary 3:

Unboxing: Unpackaging of a technology product filmed and uploaded in Youtube. It’s rapidly becoming a classic.

Tutorial: Explanatory videos that show the functioning of products, software, etc.

Periscope: Life video platform for Twitter.

One more thing: Favourite quote Steve Jobs used to say in his presentations of Apple’s products.

Mentions: Life video platform for Facebook.

Kickstarter: Website dedicated to crowdfunding.

Boomerang: An app by Instagram to create GIFs.

Graphene: A material with a great potential. Chips, glass, batteries, etc.

Benchmarks: Standard used to evaluate and compare the performance of two or more products.

 

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Òscar Caro

They started calling me Óscar in 1980, the year I was born. I have been a Barcelona city slicker ever since. I have specialized in various fields related to visual image, and I am a few subjects short of obtaining my Associate Degree in Photography Direction. I am a bit of a technocrat, and a neophyte. I share my life with my films, my gadgets and my female cat.