the disposable memory project

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April 5, 2008 by admin

So, I had this idea at about 5pm today whilst picking up my wife’s drycleaning. They had a disposable camera on the shelves for sale. I don’t think i’ve used a disposable for years – not since i got a digital camera smaller (and arguably better quality) than most disposables – the last time, I think, was at a friend’s wedding, where they’d been left on the tables for guests to take pictures of the day – and hand them back in at the end. The idea being the images taken will be a perhaps more candid and spotaneous collection of images than the official photographer might catch.

With the current spat of immediate update / lifestreaming sites such as twitter, pownce, facebook status updates and just the digital space in general, life is so quick hit these days – instant gratification is everything, or is it? At the same time as these sites are cropping up and hitting the mainstream, I’m also seeing a number of ‘slow your life down’ sites – bookcrossing and postcrossing are two examples which I really relate (mostly because I love books and I love receiving snail mail).

So, throw together a disposable camera, the idea of slowing things down, and a little bit of ‘discard interaction’, and you’ve got the disposable memory project: take one (or more) disposable cameras, leave them around london with instructions on how to use, get them back (hopefully), develop the images, and post them for people to see.

I’m hoping that maybe we’ll see visually the journey these cameras take, passing from person to person. I’m not going to put any complicated user profiles in place (ie. now send it to user XYZ at address ABC), its just going to exist completely physically by being passed on hand-to-hand, person-to-person.

I’m sure some will get lost, some will get stolen, some will get just thrown away or destroyed by the security services, but those which make it back to me, you’ll be seeing the images up here as soon as I get them.

Once the images are online, hopefully people who took the images will be watching the site to see if their cameras turn up, and then they will be able to post/label/tag/comment on their pics, and the circle is complete.

So, that’s the basic concept. Like the idea? Watch this space, and I’ll let you know when the first set of cameras are out. Not bad for something inspired by a drycleaning shop.

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