The past and present collide with Retrollect


 (Screen grab from user ryanjleone’s reel “instagram.”
Retrollect is an iphone/droid app that lets you make “a visual mash-up” showcasing the highlights from any given event in a collection of images. The mash-up can include photographs as well as textual annotations like tweets or status updates. Notably, the form that these collections take is of a View-Master style reel. At once adding to the tradition of new technologies recreating the aesthetic effects of older forms (see instagram or poladroid amongst a host of examples), the View-Master format seems to evoke a certain nostalgia, and also perhaps more strongly imposes the idea that these images should be shared and revisited in the future. Each “reel” also only features eight images, which, against the tendency to include innumerable photos in a set, requires some editing and selection. I recently posted about Hasbro’s MY3D viewer that transforms iphone images into three dimensions. It’s interesting how the View-Master, while slowly losing popularity, is always being reinvented, either in terms of its effects (Hasbro’s device) or the format it popularized (Retrollect).

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The past and present collide with Retrollect

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