In 1964, Belgian surrealist, René Magritte, painted 'The Son of Man' (below, left). It is a portrait of a man in a bowler hat, red tie and dark blue overcoat. He is standing in front of a low wall, which holds back the sea in the background. Overhead is a cloudy sky. The most distinctive feature of this oil painting is the green apple, which partly obscures the subject's face. His left eye can just be seen peering at the viewer from behind the fruit. The title, 'Son of Man', together with the apple, give the work of art a religious reference to Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Joan Fontcuberta's chapter title takes the read back to a time of 'girl power' and the notion of celebrity. He recalls an anecdote about having his photograph taken in a photo booth and being presented with the option to magically appear with the Spice Girls. Other options included Princess Diana and Tony Blair. At the time, these personalities offered an alternative view of the world, an opportunity to break away from what had always been. The Spice Girls encouraged strong independent women, Princess Diana looked to modernise the royal family, and Tony Blair was all about a New Labour, following years of Tory rule. The fact that you could choose to appear in a photograph with one of these people, is a glimpse at how the photograph could be used as a symbol of support and solidarity.
If video killed the radio star, then digital killed analogue. The days of taking your roll of film to Boots, and collecting it an hour or a day later have long gone. Those who nostalgically want to hold on to the past might be heard saying that the rise of computing is responsible. Despite this accusation, Batchen (2002: 165) claims that, ever since their creation, both photography and computing were destined to converge by stating that, "the two technologies share a common history and embody comparable logics."