Pro Lomo

| February 17, 2003 Issue

Members of the photography art scene yearn for the low-tech ’80s, before everyone went digital and taking pictures was a simple matter of point, click, and wind. In the true artist’s pursuit of all things underground and kitschy, the former Soviet Union’s Lomo Kompakt Automatic was just bound to be rediscovered, reports Jules Head on The cameras, which are known for their small, sturdy design and no-tech luddite appeal, were re-introduced to the art world by a couple of Viennese photographers who fell in love with the photo quality they got from their Lomo. After posting their pics on the Web, fellow Lomo aficionados began to surface and a new artistic subculture was born. Now, Lomo fans include the likes of David Byrne, Yasser Arafat, even the Dalai Lama. Lomo lovers with screen names like Funkylomosapian are meeting in online Lomo forums to debate whether the 166U is better than the 166B, and explain why the Lubi 1 is more of a collector’s item. So much for low-tech. Head notes that eBay is your best bet for tracking down a Lomo, but if you’re lucky there may be one or two still floating around your local Goodwill or second-hand store.
-Nick Garafola

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