I found some of your life: someone found a memory card from a camera in a taxi, and is posting a photo a day, narrating as though he’s the photographer. Ethically really iffy (would you like it if it was your photos?) but such a cool idea!
7 thoughts on “found life”
Interesting — one of the local radio stations here is reading one page of a “found Boardwalk diary” each day. Could be the latest wave in reality media.
It reminds me of a film or documentary someone once made. I can’t recall any details except it was about finding someone’s address book in the street and then phoning all the contacts listed therein to build up a picture of one person’s life.
Sadly, it’s now shut down
Ah. That would be because it was Slashdotted and it didn’t really prove too hard to find the owner of the photos. Who presumably DIDN’T want them on the internet. Neither would I.
Clearly the right way to do this project would have been to take the photos yourself, pretend you found them, post them one at a time with “made up” comments as if you found them, and wait for the firestorm of controversy over the ethical and legal dimensions of your artwork to erupt. And then, as they would say on Slashdot, profit!
The address book project mentioned above is by the fantastic french artist Sophie Calle. Called ‘l’homme au carnet’ it appeared as a series of interviews published daily in the french newspaper ‘le monde’. She approached people listed in the address book she found in the street, then published the interviews, building up an intriguing composite picture of the man who owned the book (some people were surprised they were in there, as they hardly knew him. Others were ex-friends and lovers).
Eventually, the man recognised himself (or heard of the project from friends) and called on le monde to stop it and make reparations. In a typically french compromise, Calle offered to expose herself in the same way she had exposed him, by printing naked pictures taken of her during her brief time as a burlesque dancer, in the same newspaper. The man accepted the proposal, and the pictures formed the final element of the project.
The best resource for Calle’s work is ‘did you see me?’ a collection of her work, incuding l’homme au carnet’, or ‘double game’, a collaboration with paul auster. Paul Auster used ‘l’homme…’, and others by sophie calle, for the oeuvre of a fictional character called ‘maria’ in his book ‘leviathan’. He also invented a few new works, so Calle created a new project to perform these invented works, closing the circle between the oeuvre of Calle herself and her fictional ‘double’ Maria.
Thanks Matt! Reading a fuller description I realise I *have* heard of this, but I’d forgotten the details and the names. I wonder whether the creator of Ifoundyourlife considered offering nude pics of himself in return for the breach of privacy?