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Photos where everyone i…
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2009, Apr 14
Peter Funch and computer-assisted hoop-jumping

There’s a new entrant in the field of “photography where everyone is doing the same thing,” and this time, it’s got Boing Boing link juice behind it! When I wrote about this style a couple of weeks ago, I said that it “turns photography into hoop-jumping: ‘did you see how many fools I snapped doing this?’” I had assumed that the photos were documents of an instant that actually happened—if you look hard enough in a city, patterns emerge—but maybe that’s not the case. Have a look:

Kind of amazing how all those people are posing, no? Hey, where are any of the people with cameras? Oh maybe here:

What’s going on here is that Peter Funch has taken a whole bunch of pictures in Times Square (and other NYC locations), and stitched them together later so that it *looks like* everyone was actually there at the same time. Now that I think about it, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad probably uses this technique too. Color me… bored. As I said the first time, real work was put in to these images, but there’s nothing risked here at all, success was inevitable from the start. Basically this technique moves about as much as HDR flower photography.

I’m left wondering why still cameras were chosen to record these projects. If you’re going to stand in a spot for and wait until someone does [action X] or [is wearing all color Z], why not videotape it?? It would be a lot more interesting to see even a short clip of Times Square filled with people posing for photos, or of a Shinjuku station where people are only waving to each other.

Addendum: If I was a better 2point8 reader, I would have seen this three months ago…


							

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Photos where everyone is doing the same thing

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2009, Apr 02
“Orderly Conduct”

This series has great potential. It’s a compelling idea to capture images in which everyone is doing the same thing, and the execution is beyond reproach. But the result, for me, turns photography into hoop-jumping: “did you see how many fools I snapped doing this?”

Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad

The accompanying artist statement is also problematic, as these things tend to be:

These images present a parallel view of public space. Revealing behaviours and modes of existence that characterize the notion of public, but are no longer visible or registered due to their ubiquity.

This statement actually runs counter to the work that went into the images: the photographer had to hunt them down and force them into existence. Rather than showing that these behaviors “are no longer visible,” I am assaulted by their visibility. Aren’t you too? Confusing.

I want the photographer to jump through one more hoop, and a much bigger one at that: once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, play them off of their setting, too!


							

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Photos where everyone is doing the same thing

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