carte de visite

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, May 9, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I wonder if through APUG it would be worth trying to restart the craze for the carte de visite created in the 1850’s. The size of a carte de visite is 54.0 mm (2.125 in) × 89 mm (3.5 in) mounted on a card sized 64 mm (2.5 in) × 100 mm (4 in). Cheap to make and post.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carte_de_visite

    I’m not sure how it could work, but I’m sure there are a few people out there with suggestions.
     
  2. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    A "carte de visite" doesn't meet USPS postcard dimensions. Essentially it's a 6x9 contact print. If it was done on a 4x5 paper, then it could be mailed as a postcard.

    Now, how do you figure that a carte de visite could beat Instagram? (Remember: the current year is 2012, not 1850. In the intervening 172 years, people have become rather blase about photographs.)
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Well perhaps we all might learn something by emulating a historic procedure.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Well, there's still (and always) baseball cards (and football, and basketball, and teenage heartthrobs, and Star Wars, etc etc etc). They're if not dimensionally then certainly spiritually the inheritors of the Carte-de-Visite tradition. So many CDVs were produced as an early form of celebrity trading card/collectible. God knows I've got enough of them in my meager little collection, from circus freaks in Barnum's American Museum to Civil War generals and social luminaries. Of course they were created and used for other purposes as well - I've got one by Mathew Brady that documents the Pleasant Valley Winery in the Finger Lakes area of New York. I'm not quite sure how you'd revive the tradition though, as a personal photographic medium. If you try to recapture enough of the historic characteristics, then you end up in re-enactment land and are just mimicking the original medium without saying anything new. Deviate far enough to say something new and quite possibly you've lost the reference and nobody will know/care why you're doing it.
     
  5. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    That looks like "cargo cult" thinking. People bought the carte de visite (French for "business card") images because of the photograph on the card, not the card itself. We still use carte de visite, but normally it doesn't have much of a picture on it. However, it's still nearly 6x9 (51mm x 89mm), and is so ubiquitous that it's no longer a craze. 500 for $8.50.