Journals. Keep them. Write in them. Refer to them. Collect information in them. Information is going away. Information and imagery stored in electronic devices disappears. It implodes. It goes to cyber-hell and is lost. Finished. Basta. No more.
We live in the age of electronic everything. and we can access more information than ever, yet we can lose the same information and more in record time. So, we are supposed to back up our information on external hard drives two and three times, and then migrate all of that info to new technology as it evolves, to continuously protect ourselves and our information. While sitting at my desk one morning, my external hard drive turned into cereal. Snap – crackle – pop ! No more information, files, references, IMAGES ! Empty bowl of cereal. Hundreds of images are with Peter Pan in Never-never Land. Are we in the beginning of the age of non-information or will these be known as the “lost information” years ?
The fact is electronic devices fail. They eat our stuff and vomit it into oblivion. I put information into notebooks, idea journals, creative diaries, technical notebooks, darkroom journals, books of quotes, writings, and thoughts. I have never lost any of my notebooks (or negatives, either, for that matter.) I have a personal library about myself as an artist: my ideas, my work, my experiences and experiments, my influences, my dreams, my “crazy”. A reference library sitting on a shelf, waiting to stimulate, remember, springboard from. Have you ever seen a Peter Beard diary ? It is a thing of passionate beauty with a shit load of daily information, art, and personal experience.
Write stuff down. Collect information in books. Use pencils. Your information just might last.