Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

That’s the innovation that’ll surprise us-and it won’t restrict its impact to the territory of the fine-art photograph, no matter how broadly defined.Most assessments of the potential of digital photography restrict themselves to some variant of traditional media (the digital image output as an Iris ink-jet print on handmade Arches paper, for example) or to the confines of the computer monitor.

Yet of all the components of the computer, the VDT has been least subject to radical invention. Yes, it’s gone from monochrome to color, gotten smaller (for laptops and palm-sized PCs) and, for desktops, bigger and flatter. True, with an expensive projector you can throw a slightly degraded version of whatever’s on that screen up on the wall in a darkened room. Fact is, though, that for the past two decades, attending to anything displayed on a computer’s monitor has approximated looking at a small-to-mid-sized television set.

I expect that to change, and soon. Look for:

Paint-on VDT, some emulsionbased pixellated liquid that can be applied to any surface in any pattern and activated by attachment to a CPU;

VDT-by-the-yard, some cloth-like material that can be cut to any pattern and activated similarly, enabling you, for instance, to wear a shirt on which a programmed sequence of your family-album images is displayed;

Digitally produced holographic projection, 3-D photography, and/or some photographically generated version of virtual reality.

Prepare yourself, that is, for a wider variety of photographic images not attached to objects-or attached to unfamiliar objects. They’re just around the corner, and we can look forward to watching paradigm-shift in action as we and our culture come to terms with them.

So sit back and think well beyond photographic scrapbooks. Think about programming imagery for your eveningwear and bedroom walls, as photography detaches itself from the objects we’ve always associated it with and enters the disembodied realm of the digital.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Web

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me