Analog Returns in the Digital Age

Analog Returns in the Digital Age


In the rapidly changing digital age, analog
culture is receiving renewed attention as a way to revive dried-up emotions. In addition to elderly generations, younger
people more accustomed to digital culture are also increasingly enjoying analog culture. We investigated the reason. This building is located in a residential
area of Yeonhee-dong , Seoul. The shop is a film photography studio, a type
of business largely taken over by digital cameras. What’s more, it specializes in black and
white pictures. Since opening in 2015, it’s become Seoul’s
top black and white speciality studio. Why was it launched as a film-photography
studio when everything else has gone digital? (Korean)
“Unlike film photography digital photographic work is different. Deficiencies in the shots can be re-touched. This leads to diminished attention when taking
pictures. There was a desire to return to the roots. That’s how the idea to operate a film photography
studio came about.” Black and white photos are taken with a limited
number of cuts on film, and developed and printed through an analog process in a dark
room. Only 3 customers can make a reservation each
day. (Korean)
“At our studio film is dried naturally for about a day. After that comes the printing process. It takes two or three hours to print a single
image.” Recently, black and white polaroids which
are cheaper and quicker to take have also become popular. (Korean)
“With black and white polaroids, a single photo can be taken right away, so it’s much
cheaper than film. Black and white polaroids appeal to younger
people, since a single shot costs about 26 dollars. Couples often come to take a picture.” Black and white polaroids target younger generations
with almost no memories of analog-type photos. (Korean)
“After taking pictures on my phone every day, it’s nice to have one picture to keep.” (Korean)
“It can’t be re-touched, and the photo is one-of-a-kind. It’s very special, and I think it was a
meaningful experience.” An LP shop started business in Itaewon, a
hot spot for young generations. LPs. once completely eliminated from the record
market, represent the analog retro trend. (Korean)
“Generally everyone tends to listen to streaming music. But as recently as the 80s or 90s, LPs, cassette
tapes and CDs were the major developed formats, which people purchased to consume. The shop was prepared so that customers could
find happiness by purchasing and owning analog media like LPs and cassette tapes.” About 800 customers visit each day, on average. The unique tone of LPs, not available with
digital music, is one of the reasons for their resurgence. (Korean)
“I really like 70s and 80s music. It’s different from listening to files. Listening directly to LPs offers an old-school
feel, so it’s enjoyable.” Another reason for the growing popularity
is a higher collectability factor among youths, thanks to famous pop stars and top idol groups
releasing limited-edition LPs. (Korean)
“Many customers buy LPs as goods. LPs or vinyl media are now being propagated
as hip media, so it appears some people want to demonstrate purchasing turntables and LPs
to listen to music.” The popularity of LPs is a global trend. With LPs enjoying a second renaissance, a
domestic LP factory which shut down 13 years ago recently re-opened. The LP craze is expected to continue into
the future. This transcription group has been going since
last year. Most participants are office workers who make
time to attend meetings. (SOV)
“Read books silently, and then copy any passages you might like.” ( .) “Okay.” (“ ) Rather than reading with their eyes only,
transcribing each letter by hand offers mental stability. (Korean)
“Reviews of transcription gatherings say that they offered the best rest of the week, and
that it was possible to be more immersed in reading.” Offline gatherings are also a way to share
warmth and companionship. (Korean)
“People feel a sense of rest most of all. Daily life is so busy, people are practicing
a slower lifestyle, such as the hygge life or healing life.” The analog trend is expecting to continue,
rather than becoming a passing fad. (Korean)
“Human beings promote mechanization, but human thoughts or emotions therein were made since
the past and grew from there. In line with mechanical development, analog
thoughts will gradually survive. In the end, future success will depend on
a fusion of digital devices and analog human sensibilities. It’s important to live wisely in the digi-log
era.” A return to analog culture amid the speed
and convenience of the digital era could be seen as voluntary inconvenience.

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