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Blog : The Anonymous Photo Project
Logo: Anonymous Photo Project The Anonymous Photo Project - A project of discovery, and chance.
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Life is a Highway

November 20, 2008

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If life was this highway, I’d wanna ride it all night long! This picture makes me think of fabulous road trips, with nothing but the road, the car, and miles of nothingness all night long. Oh yeah, and some good tunes to take you all the way to wherever you end up.

Most of the rest of Camera #5 documents a road trip to Colorado. Looks like they’re moving!

Posted by Mr. Anonymous at 7:21 pm
Filed under: Featured Photos
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Another Day of Life

November 18, 2008

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Check out Another Day of Life. In 2005 and 2006, the creator of this project went to Mozambique with a bunch of disposable cameras and handed them out to local people to take pictures of their everyday life. There’s a bunch of interesting results.

Posted by Mr. Anonymous at 3:32 pm
Filed under: Links
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Surrey and Mexico

November 15, 2008

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A couple of people contacted me after my appearance on Breakfast Television, wanting to Help Spread the Project by making their own packages and dropping them off for people to find. Jason is going to leave a camera in Surrey, BC. And, DickL is taking a number of cameras on his vacation to Mexico, and he even translated a letter into Spanish so that people who don’t read English will be able to take part if they find a camera.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens!

Posted by Mr. Anonymous at 9:21 am
Filed under: Spreading the Project
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Camera #129: Bulletin

November 14, 2008

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A little while ago, I went over to Gabriola Island to visit family. I got to the ferry terminal in downtown Nanaimo with plenty of time to spare until the next ferry. Enough time for no one to be in the foot passenger lounge. This time, I decided to be a lot more obvious in my placement of the package. In the foot passenger lounge, there’s a bulletin board where people post local events, services, and things for sale, like firewood. I posted Camera #129 right on the board so that no one would miss it. The same thing was done with Camera #96, but to no effect. Hopefully, it works this time.

Posted by Mr. Anonymous at 2:02 pm
Filed under: Placed — Tags: , ,
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The Threat of The Anonymous Photo Project

November 12, 2008

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One of the people who has helped to spread The Anonymous Photo Project shared the experience of placing cameras during the extreme sense of threat in a post 9-11 United States:

The crucial discovery I made in this project is not all that surprising, in a way.  It was a direct experience of the amount of suspicion and insecurity present in my society and the overwhelming and overarching sense of surveillance I have internalized.   It was incredibly difficult to place the packages.  Each place I initially thought might be an appropriate place to leave them turned out to be places where I felt I might easily be stopped by authorities or even other citizens on the grounds of leaving a “suspicious package.”  Places like post offices, stores, schools, city blocks, all became sites that this project revealed as being places one can no longer act anonymously.  Leaving a package, no matter what the intention, has been rendered unacceptable, shady business.  It was impossible to shake this feeling–a feeling of somehow breaking a social imperative–despite the fact that the project was an art project. I kept the packages in my car and would sneak them out and place them when a good moment arose.  It was always an anxious moment. This project has raised my awareness of the way that, in the USA, we are *always* at a “red” threat level in daily life.

When I first started The Anonymous Photo Project, I did so during a road trip to the US. I had everything prepped – except I neglected to bring the transparent plastic gift bags in which I planned to put the camera, envelope, and instructions. I discovered this in a small coastal town when it was much too late to go back. The best replacement I could find was brown shipping paper. To make the package seem more enticing, I even wrote, “If found, please open” on it in black marker.

I don’t think I could have created a more suspicious looking package, even if I tried. I placed 4 packages before I was able to find some more clear bags. I was extremely nervous when placing these cameras. Maybe because they were the first cameras that I placed, but I’m sure it also had to do with leaving suspicious brown packages in public places in the United States at the height of the fear of terrorist threats. Needless to say, none of these first four packages ever made it back.

After placing dozens of cameras, I am definitely still somewhat nervous at the prospect of being stopped by someone who views my art project as a threat to national security – especially in the United States – but I haven’t been able to express it as eloquently as the above anonymous participant.

Posted by Mr. Anonymous at 5:45 pm
Filed under: General
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Cultural Connect Scotland

November 11, 2008

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After I was on Breakfast Television, I was contacted by Graeme Murdoch who is working on a project called Cultural Connect Scotland for the Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations. Cultural Connect Scotland connects communities – photographically – in Scotland and Canada that share the same name.

“The aim of Cultural Connect Scotland is to form creative and cultural links between Scotland and its global community. We are currently engaged in a major project to join Scotland and Canada in photographic conversations using digital photography to link communities in Canada and Scotland with a particular emphasis on same-name towns like Calgary, Banff, Hamilton, New Glasgow and New Edinburgh. The best photographs will be exhibited in galleries and public spaces around Scotland during Homecoming 2009.”

I got the chance to meet him while he was in Vancouver for a short period to discuss our projects and he took a few cameras back to Scotland with him. Hopefully some of them will come back!

Posted by Mr. Anonymous at 5:44 pm
Filed under: Links
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Note on Camera #123


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Whoops, I totally forgot to mention that Camera #123 was returned with this sticky:

“Taken in Helsinki on 14.8.2008 during ‘Art Goes Kapakka’ openning night.”

Posted by Mr. Anonymous at 5:10 pm
Filed under: Returned — Tags: , ,
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Random Selection
Camera #62
Returned June 1, 2007
Brooklyn Bridge
New York City, New York
U.S.A.
Camera #94
Returned May 21, 2008
Grandview Lanes, 2195 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada
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