Restart Slideshow

My exhibit will examine the evolution of the use of slide projectors and slides by artists.

Kodak ceased production of slide projectors in 2004 and stopped making Kodachrome in 2009. The company announced that they were also discontinuing other kinds of slide film at the beginning of March due to the fall in demand. Kodak’s iconic products, romanticized by Don Draper on “Mad Men,” are now found in attics and on eBay.

Despite the decline in commercial use, 35mm slides have been used in the art world again and again. Museums still store art images on slides and universities still use them to teach (although most are in the process of moving to completely digitized versions of their slide collections). After the announcement that Kodak would stop manufacturing projectors, artists starting using the material of projectors and slides to create their artworks. And now as the materials are becoming more scarce, other artists are mimicking the qualities of slides.

My questions: Are artists just using slides for kitsch factor? Or is there something about how we see the world through the material of the slide that is significant?

I plan to make a slideshow-like exhibit that follows the life-cycle of slides and projectors:

1. Birth: How they are made
2. Life: How they were used commercially and educationally
3. Death: Kodak ending manufacturing
4. Autopsy: Artists taking them apart to make something new
5. Rebirth: Artists using their material qualities

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