The infographic above appeared in the April edition of National Geographic, and it demonstrates that the American addiction to digital images has created a huge surplus of pixels that tell us what most of us already know, people like to take A LOT of photos. Their graphic is pretty telling and the designer has done a great job creating each circle out of shifting boxes that give a kinetic feel and eludes to how precarious the lives of these little units of imagery are as they can be deleted at any moment.
Last year, 37% of the images in the US were captured using camera phones, but by 2015, National Geographic writes, that number is expected to be 50%.
The volume of photos will no doubt change how we will grapple and archive them in the future — though no one has figured out what that exactly means.
It is estimated that 2.5 billion camera phones were in use in 2009, which is an incredible number considering the first camera phone was released in November 2000 by J-Phone and it had a resolution of 0.1 megapixels or 300 pixels by 300 pixels.
1000memories, a website that allows users to archive and share old photos, has done some research into the matter and has some amazing statistics (emphasis mine):
… by 1960 it is estimated that 55% of photos were of babies … Year after year these numbers grew, as more people took more photos — the 20th century was the golden age of analog photography peaking at an amazing 85 billion physical photos in 2000 — an incredible 2,500 photos per second.
The site goes on to discuss the scale of this growth and they try to contextualize the numbers using a graph that contrasts various well-known “archives.”
They point out that in 2011 there were 140 billion photographs on Facebook, which is … wait for it … 10,000 times larger than the number of photos in the collections of the Library of Congress. They estimate there were 3.5 trillion photos in existence in 2011. Simply WOW.
If the ease of taking photos has increased, the ability to archive them has not. According to 1000memories, “Every 2 minutes today we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800s.” What will we do with this avalanche of pixels and how will we ever be able to find anything?
Join Hyperallergic for an online conversation with Kiowa Tribal Museum Director Tahnee Ahtone on January 25 at 7pm (EST).
This week, Patrisse Cullors speaks, reviewing John Richardson’s final Picasso book, the Met Museum snags a rare oil on copper by Nicolas Poussin, and much more.
Graduate students in the University of Denver’s Emergent Digital Practices program work on research with faculty who are engaged directly with their communities, both online and off.
Alexi Worth’s paintings demand a double take that allows viewers to look closer and begin dissembling the painting in order to understand what is being looked at.
Anastasia Pelias’s sculpture builds on this mythological legacy, suggesting we all have the ability to commune with a higher power and influence our futures.
Curated by Jill Kearney, this exhibition in Frenchtown, NJ amplifies stories both local and universal with work by Willie Cole, Sandra Ramos, sTo Len, and more.
Jack Spicer’s poetry can be deeply funny and playful but it has a consistent undercurrent of sadness.
Belinda Rathbone’s biography traces the sculptor’s embrace of kinetic mechanisms to his work in the Singer Sewing Machine factory.
The first lecture is on the relationship between early portrait photography and diverse notions of US identity during the Gilded Age. Register to attend on January 25.
It’s the first time in the country’s history that objects of this significance are offered for public sale.
Schwartz was at the forefront of computer-generated art before desktops or the kind of software that makes it commonplace today.
Curator La Tanya S. Autry shares a set of crucial questions she considers when curating images of anti-Black violence.