The entrance of the, now closed, Network Video store in Kenmore, Brisbane, Australia.
Entering a video rental store is an experience that the Internet cannot replace. The visual experience of scanning the shelves, walking through the organised shelves and the tactile experience of picking up a video box and turning it around to read the description. There is so much potential before you: to rewatch an old favourite, to catch one you've missed, or to try something new. But there is also built-in scarcity: you can only carry so much in your hands. Eventually you have to go home, so with regret you put most of them back on the shelf, hoping it will be there next time. As you wait at the counter, doubt creeps into your mind. But when the attendant unlocks the box you are suddenly committed and you walk out with confidence that is the perfect title for you to watch... until next week.
This video store had been open for 25 years and closed in May 2014.
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.