Re: film ecology

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2006 - 09:12:31 PST

> On Mar 3, 2006, at 10:34 AM, David Tetzlaff wrote:
> > Your notion that film is somehow more earth
> friendly than digital
> > strikes
> > me as extremely niave. How do you think they get
> the silver? Have
> > you ever
> > been in the same room with a film processing
> machine? The chemicals
> > could
> > not be more toxic.

When they make silicon wafers the stuff they wash the
wafers with is intensely toxic. (Is it Hydrofluoric
acid (HF)????) and is in fact a much more serious
pollutant than film processing. I suspect the HF is
actually more toxic than the chemicals used in film
processing, although I know kodachrome was supposed to
be an especially toxic process.

They show you all those pictures of people in clean
white rooms and clean white coats dancing around but
clean doesn't neccesarily mean environmentally safe.
In fact much of the environment itself is actually
made out of dirt.
> But, if you factor in scale, I wonder which
> introduces more toxic
> elements into the environment? Plus there are issues
> like water usage
> in the making of chips, the power required to
> produce aluminum, etc.
> > The throwaway nature of digital tools may be evil,
> but the actual
> > production of digital work vs. film is far more
> environmentally
> > benign.

I think that's not true, although video tape is now
vegetarian (no longer made from dead whales) unlike
film (not that film is made from dead whales but it is
made from horses toenail clippings or something). It's
hard to know much about the production of video tape,
although I suspect it involves greater use of plastics
than film, and of course the fast obselesence and
short life span of the actual video equipment can't be

> While I agree that the actual production might be
> more
> environmentally benign, I seriously question--again,
> based on scale--
> that the technological detritus is more benign.

I'm not sure either is true really. They are both far
from environmentally benign.

It's an interesting question because it's good to
think about the impact the things you do have on the
environment, but the bottom line is that they are both

I guess film people can try and keep their ratios low,
and video people, well I guess you can not upgrade
till your camera stops working or make sure it gets a
good home when you move on or erm, re-use your video
tapes(!!!) eeek!

> But, rather than nitpick, I offer an alternative to
> the landfill:




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