Whilst browsing 'How To Be A Retronaut' for something entirely different, I came across these photos taken of Dubai using a 150 year old camera and developed using a waxed paper negative process. It's really interesting to see how the process of taking the image and putting it onto paper can change wholesale how we understand the image.
However, this doesn't bring to mind for me the past per-se, but past images of the future. There's something very alluring about the designed future of Fritz Langs Metropolis which is mediated by the grainy black and white film on which it is presented and which these photos really remind me of. The composition of the out of scale infrastructure in some of the photos brings to mind drawings and models of Le Corbusiers La Ville Radieuse.
But what does this say about Dubai? Has this kind of image of the city of the future infiltrated our collective consciousness to the extent that it has become a self fulfilling prophecy? Is the medium just powerful enough to draw any generic future-ville into the same language as Metropolis?
Not sure I know the answer to that one, maybe we'll come back to that another day.