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Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathInstant Images

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students during their journey beyond the newly opened East European borders in 1991. The camera’s simplicity, its exceptional optics and its coming from the former Eastern bloc are already a guarantee for low-tech charm. The Lomographic Society in Vienna sets up the opportunity for the inexpensive, uncomplicated and ‹democratic› production of images; they arrange for the cameras to be imported and begin «spreading the message of LOMOGRAPHY throughout the globe» in a mixture of club and mission. [12] Lomography’s message, which is also sent around the world via Lomographic Embassies, is characterized by ten rules. At the core of these rules is the invitation to make taking photographs a part of life and to constantly—day and night—produce images. The rule concerning composition states that everything should be left to chance; at best one should not even look through the viewfinder. Not one moment is decisive or right or worth capturing, but every moment. The rejection of, indeed the ban on aesthetic considerations is reminiscent of the DOGME 95 drawn up by the film directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, in which ten rules on the use of a 35-mm


hand-held camera prescribed shooting films at authentic locations and using only original sound. This «vow of chastity» was intended to create true-to-lifeness and ‹truth› by striking out any efforts at composition both at the level of the image as well as with regard to the uniformity of the entire film. «I swear to refrain from creating a ‹work,› as I regard the instant as more important than the whole.» [13] moblogs [14] and photosharing Web sites [15] link sharing photographs with the whole world with the euphoric notions of «love» and «friends.» In both cases this implies the idea of the WWW as a democratic, user-to-user medium that guarantees direct communication. [16]

The digitalization of images plays a major role in the activity of sharing photographs, whose medium is the Internet. Starting from media-scientific posits that digital images are no longer images, [17] the question remains of whether there is a difference between circulating photographs recorded by analog means and those recorded by digital means in electronic networks. Except for the fact that the processes produce a different look, for the context of photography, community and authenticity being discussed here, the answer to this question does not seem to be relevant. In contrast to the out-of-focus look of lomographs, the high degree of sharpness of digital images is more a criterion of difference within a community than a theory-capable, ‹innovative› feature or a medial discontinuity. What appears to be more essential is the lack of expenditure required to

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