Eros Livieratos (he/they) is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing at Ohio State University. Eros’ writing tackles topics of race, sexuality, capitalism, aesthetics, and technology. Eros plays in noise bands and can often be found yelling about aesthetics and automation in your local basement.
When I used my first “vintage amplifier,” it was because that’s what I could afford from the thrift store. I didn’t think much about it. It was loud and it sounded good. I made noise with friends in basements in New Jersey. I wrote poems and stories and shouted them through old capacitors and aging electronics. At some point, my art became my job.
An old friend encouraged me to try film photography as an outlet. I had been transfixed with the idea of shooting a short film on Super 8 as a love letter to Wim Wenders. I couldn’t quite afford it; however, point-and-shoot cameras were in my budget. It wasn’t soon after that I realized the function of analog film is a lot more in line with my memory than current technology. The imperfections, the grain, and all the error is a lot more in line with how my aging brain functions than the perfection of digital photography. That isn’t some stand against new technology, I just found that these photos were able to allow me to slow down and connect with a landscape I had previously felt no connection with. I was able to find beauty in the ordinary. Movement in construction, slowness in the breeze, and order in disordered objects.
The majority of my work is grounded in a fixation on the philosophy of Mark Fisher. His diagnosis of everyday life with Capitalist Realism put words to a seemingly ineffable struggle. However, the one concept that sticks in my brain is his take on “Hauntology,” and the end of the future. Aside from the accessibility of older technology from a fiscal place, the fascination with older technology for various reasons is a point of intrigue. I do believe film mimics memory, but the process of shooting film is a reprieve from the noise of everyday life. My shutter speed is slow. I may not know what the photo will look like until it's developed. The pacing is radically different from the 31, 653 photos currently in my iPhone’s “recents.” The only notifications I am prodded with are the anomalies of being present and grounded. The sounds of cars moving. The direction of the breeze. The rhythm in breath.
I don’t have an answer to the epistemological problems laid out by Fisher in Capitalist Realism & Ghosts of my Life. However, shooting film allows me to put aside the feeling of necessity to make something pressing or new. The only thing that matters is being connected with everyone and everything. Thank you for spending time with these captured moments.