Artifact Politics

Technology has come so far in the world today. One technology in particular is the camera, which has evolved tremendously just over the past few years. The camera is one of the few technologies used by people of all ages to capture a special moment or even just a fun night out with friends or family. People often take pictures to treasure the unforgettable moments with the people around them and can then print the pictures for safe keeping or to place them in a photo album full of hundreds of other captured memories.

A person can go to almost anywhere and expect to see people taking pictures with their friends or taking a “selfie” which is a trend going on today where people continuously take pictures of themselves for one reason or another. Almost every cell phone made today as a camera for people to take pictures on the go, and if the cell phone is a smart  phone, there is a very good chance that the phone will also have  a front camera, which makes taking selfies much more convenient. There is an app called Snapchat where people take pictures and videos of themselves while they are out at an event or even just bored in their own homes and can post the picture or video for all of their Snapchat friends to view. The camera has become a social tool, especially over these past few years.

The first camera ever invented was back in 1827, and over one hundred years later the first digital camera ever created was back in the early 1970s and was about ten times the size of a normal digital camera one would find today. It was not very long ago when people had a camera that they would have to put film into and then take the film to the nearest CVS or Walgreens once it was filled up and get their photos developed, which would usually take a few days. Today, people can take thousands of pictures if they want to and develop them all in just a few hours. Although digital cameras have been around for a while, most people could not afford one until the early 2000s when manufacturers found a way to build them using a  more efficient and less expensive method. Before this time, cameras cost thousands of dollars, so most people could not afford one unless they were professional photographers or very wealthy individuals (The Changes To Camera Technology Over The Last 70 Years 2014).

Cameras are a very authoritarian device. Only one person can control it at one time or else taking a picture becomes chaotic and the picture turns out terrible. Although cameras were created to make memories last, cameras can also do a person harm if the pictures taken are not intended for others to see. Some people take pictures on their camera and expect them to stay on their camera for only them to see. However, with a digital camera, it is much easier to upload photos to your computer, therefore making it much easier for others to get their hands on it and send them out to anyone. The fact that cameras are authoritarian and only one person can use them at one time could either be a positive or a negative view on them. Cameras were invented for people to capture their favorite memories, but every now and then cameras can be used for negative reasons.


“The Changes To Camera Technology Over The Last 70 Years.” The People History. 2014. Web. 26 Jan 2015.

2 thoughts on “Artifact Politics”

  1. I believe that cameras have greatly advanced and people can now easily share pictures with others, which is helpful in many cases. However, I also agree that the authoritarian sense of the camera (only one person being able to control it and control what happens to the pictures) can be problematic if put in the wrong hands.


  2. Photography is actually one of my hobbies so I love it that someone talked about it. I think that the improvements in photography had made taking and sharing pictures a lot easier and cheaper. Before digital camera, it was film. Film cost money which is why people had to get the perfect shot if not it would be a waste of money. I really like what you said about it being authoritarian because only one person is in control when it comes to cameras.


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