The new analog: a two part conversation with Damon Krukowski & friends #MW2019

Photo: MuseWeb 2019

Damon Krukowski (from the podcast): In that analog studio, there was a feeling when the tape started rolling, this was the moment we would capture. The feeling of time, moving both more slowly and more quickly than usual.

Like when you are in an accident, each split second is suddenly so palpable, as if you are living in slow motion. Yet what do we say when it’s over? ‘It all happened in an instant’.

Analog recording is like an accident in other ways. On tape, there was no undo. You could try again if you had the time and the money, but you couldn’t move backwards. What is done is done. For better and worse.

Today, life as a musician is very different. In the digital studio. and I’m using one now, everything you do is provisional. That is, being be redone, reshaped, rebuilt. There’s no commitment because each element of a recording can be endlessly changed. It can even be conjured from digital scratch, as it were, and entered into a computer directly as data without anyone performing at all.

This means there’s no moment from lived experience that is captured forever and unalterably so in the digital studio.

Which is why it’s more than nostalgia that makes me remember the analog studio as different than what we know today. Because the digital era has not just altered our tools for working in sound or image or moving images. It is changing our relationship to time itself.



I’m currently the Chief Experience Officer at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Previously Cooper Hewitt (NYC) & Powerhouse Museum (Syd).

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