the disposable memory project

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Londoncentric Regrets

April 7, 2008 by admin

OK – I’m sorry for focussing on London! I’ve already had a bunch of people asking me if they can do something similar outside of London – of course! I was literally thinking that I’d have to do all the camera seeding initially, but if you’d like to start your own camera bags – I’ll be adding the ability to create/register your own camera bags on the site as soon as possible. Thanks for the interest though.

Anyway – the reason for my post is that Nicky has suggested similarities between this project and 1000journals.com. Take a look, its a really beautiful project, and I hope we get something half as lovely and interesting going here.

First cameras purchased

April 6, 2008 by admin



Tooting Common in the snow, originally uploaded by webponce.

I was out photowalking this morning due to the overnight downpour of white stuff. On my way home, I nipped into the supermarket to buy some bits and pieces (mostly biscuits to have with a winter warming cup of tea), and right next to the loo roll (also needed), lo and behold, as if some form of mystic cosmic destiny, were a bunch of disposable cameras.

I bought three, so i shall endevour to make up the first camera bags this week (i, of course in my excitement, forgot to buy freezer bags).

i’m also toying with the idea of using moo postcards for the instruction card, but not sure i can fit all the info on. i shall do some tests. the first bags might be a little rough and ready…

disposable scotland

by admin

jon asked if he could setup a similar project up in scotland – of course! give me a few weeks to get the first set of camera bags ready down here, and once i’ve got some rolling, we can do them anywhere. the plan eventually will be that anyone can create their own bag, register it on the site, and then sent it out into the wild – i just didn’t expect a request to do one just yet! i’ll keep you posted when the first bags go out.

five hours elapsed

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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