I’m currently at George Eastman House (GEH) in New York on a reciprocal exchange program with the Selznick School of Preservation, which operates out of GEH. I’m looking at how different collecting institutions handle collections comprising mixed media / different formats – which is particularly relevant given the proliferation of digital media.
There are moments on a work exchange, I am discovering, that can’t be captured photographically. Sure, on the walk to GEH in the morning you can pull your phone from your pocket, cold hands fumbling as you squint into the rain, and take pictures of the distinctive upstate New York houses: all porches and bay windows and turrets and gables and colour and wood.
You can even take photos of the House itself: grand and imposing, with an exquisite conservatory featuring a fibreglass replica prominently displayed of the head of the bull elephant shot by George Eastman himself.
You can Instagram the Mexican meal you eat one night, a massive portion even by American standards that will also do for lunch tomorrow.