Nostalgia for the Present- the faux-aged photo

When I began to consider the current cultural obsession with making images that appear to be aged, it immediately reminded me of Frederic Jameson’s writings on “Nostalgia for the Present” from Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. What he and the like-minded Jean-Francois Lyotard have concluded is that the destruction of metanarratives inherent in postmodernism, history being one of these, has resulted in society’s ultimate disconnect with the past. We see movies and hear stories about the past, but all of these are merely a pastiche of what was. One cannot be nostalgic about something one has never known or experienced, so this leaves us in the postmodern era grasping at straws. Since the beginning of the era of the sci-fi film and projecting into the future ideas of scarcity, danger, and loss of structure, the future has always represented discomfort. Although we are disconnected from our past, the pastiche we embrace hearkens back to security, bounty, and happiness. The way we try to reclaim this comfort is by drawing elements from these times of comfort into our present. I think that this affection for the faux-aged photo belongs to the category of attempting to reclaim a past that is no longer ours.

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