archive cannot be described in its totality; and in its presence it is
unavoidable. It emerges in
fragments, regions and levels, more fully, no doubt, and with greater
sharpness, the greater the time that separates us from it: at most, were it not
for the rarity of the documents, the greater chronological distance would be
necessary to analyse it.”
Geoffrey Batchen's essay about the wonderful Lost & Found Project (Japan) can be found HERE. He writes:
"This is also why we look at such pictures, always with fascination, and even when, as here, there is nothing much to see, nothing but a residue of the desires of others. Like them, we too take photographs in order to deny the possibility of death, to stop time in its tracks and us with it. But that very same photograph, by placing us indisputably in the past, is itself a kind of mini-death sentence, a prediction of our ultimate demise at some future time."
"Found Kodak easy share hi def digital camera serial #kcxjb83201630 (black in color)found in Disney World carousel of progress attraction in Orlando Fl. Contains family pics. of a family of four(kids bowling,in a flight simulator,little girl in princess outfit,decorating Christmas tree,opening gifts,ginger bread house etc,etc. Have been trying over 3 years to find the owner of this camera."
Here is a collection of mug shots from TBW books and Paul Schiek.
From website: "The book features 20 duotone plates of men re-photographed from 1950s-era mug shots found by the artist’s friend Mike Brodie in an abandoned Georgia prison. Brodie gifted the mug shots to Schiek, who then edited the original cache of hundreds down to a select few, cropped the images to remove all official documentary references while leaving stains, staple marks, tears and other signs of age, and enlarged the prints on highly reflective chromogenic paper to imbue them with personal and cultural meaning beyond their original purpose."
Here is a new lost-and-found photo book. Carolyn Kellogg from the Los Angeles Times has a nice write up about Riggs and Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued from the Past. HERE. A quote from article:
"With blogs like Tumblr and the image-sharing site Pinterest, why collect these lost pictures into a print book? Riggs has blogged, but he thinks there's something essential in the print nature of these photographs."
I'm going to buy the Kindle edition of this book.
Riggs created a video talking about his collecting . . .
" . . . the earthquake hit. While evacuating their home, Burley lost the camera which had over six months of photos—including pictures of their wedding and honeymoon. They thought the camera was gone forever. But it wasn't."
Hare offers these telling stats from the NPM website:
"83% of us use photos to connect with past memories, yet 65% of us do not print and keep our photos anymore. 77% no longer make photo albums and 37% have lost important images through loss of digital data. Amongst 16-24 year olds, a startling 70% have lost important images through a reliance on digital cameras that have either failed or been lost."
I especially enjoyed the questions (and invitation to respond) at the end of the post. Make sure you read through the comments after Hare's questions.
These are my two favorite questions:
What do you think about the idea that we are losing an entire visual record or our lives through not printing pictures any more?
Where are your digital images stored; on your camera’s memory card or on your computer’s hard drive, on a social networking site or in a good old fashioned photo album?
This is a story about a kid buying a camera and finding a photo of a deceased uncle he never knew. . . The story can be found in the Los Angeles Times HERE. And in the Digital Journal HERE.
"But the more time passes, the more it seems significant. One thing that has also struck me — I put this on my Facebook account, and the people's reaction to it has really kind of been overwhelming. It really moves people, and the more it moves them, I think the more it moves me."
Lost & Found Project is a beautiful site and project salvaging photos lost and damaged in the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan. Take some time reading about the project on the site. Here is a little piece from the introduction:
"We all take photographs. A few special ones are cherished, and the rest forgotten. We take pictures when we are having fun, when we want immortalize a moment shared with another person. The photographs you see here were also taken under those circumstances. The depth of emotion might vary from snap to snap, but each one captures a point in time that somebody wanted to keep.
What are we supposed to feel and think when we look at these pictures? Should we be happy that they were found at all, or sad that they will never be returned to their owners? Or should we simply mourn for the dead? The more I struggle to find answers, the more missing pieces I seem to find."
The VVMF is looking for photos to include with in the Nevada Vietnam War Memorial. Read about it HERE.
Quote from article: "But 63 of the Nevada Vietnam War casualties listed on The Wall, remain without photos.The VVMF has established the National Call for Photos, a movement to collect photos for each of the service-members inscribed on The Wall.
HERE is an interesting story about a lost camera (and photos) returned to owner.
From the article (Fairfield City Champion):
"Mr Biro recorded a short video with the company promoting the search, and encouraging people to use social networking websites to identify the owners by the photos on the camera.
For privacy reasons, they said, they wouldn't publish any images of people on the camera's memory card.
But a spokesman for the camera company confirmed that the camera had been handed back to its owner, 12-year-old Emma Griffin, of Avoca Beach on the central coast, after inquiries through the houseboat company pictured in the last of the photos rather than the publicity campaign."
This comment was written under the Found Photos Quintard, Gillet and Jordan post. I reposted the story below and the comment under the post that was recently made.
"I believe I am related to the Jordan end of things. My Jordan relatives lived in Germantown, PA. So sad that these pics were found in the garbage. I really appreciate that you rescued them and have placed them on line. Feel free to contact me. Eblev@nc.rr.com Thank you Elizabeth JORDAN Blevins"
I've slowly been amassing photos of women holding cameras. I'm usually interested in photos that do not look like they would go in a snapshot book. What does this mean? I'll be writing more about this.
There are a number of stories about the use of Facebook to reunite photos with people. HERE is an article from The New York Times (April). There is another great story right now playing on The BBC that I've heard twice, but can't find online.
Quote from article:
"Like hundreds of others finding keepsakes that fell from the sky and posting photographs of them on a Facebook lost and found, the woman included her e-mail address, and Ms. Washburn wrote immediately: “That man is my granddaddy. It would mean a lot to me to have that picture.”
"Then she heard a woman on the radio saying she had found photos from Joplin in her yard and didn’t know what to do with them.
“I knew instantly that would be a good fit for me,” she said. “I’m just an individual that has a little experience with photos, with memories. That’s what I do for a living. That was the way that I can help.”
"Photos found in the ruins of Japan's tsunami-ravaged towns are perhaps one of the most poignant reminders of all the lives lost following the March 11 disaster, and on March 24 the government decided that they should be saved."
"We're like snapshots. What we hunger for its remembrance. Found snapshots are trivial, but the're bodies, too, just like you and me, and they have nowhere else to go but into someone's hands or into the furnace. You are seeing. They are seen. That's all the faith they need. Just look. You were lost, but now your snapshots have found you." D.J. Waldie from Facing the Facts (p. 16) Close to Home: An American Album.
"Still sad about losing all my beautiful photos of our 2 week holiday to London and Bermuda with our young family- for our 15th wedding anniversary, my husband's 40th, my youngest daughter's birthday and our mileston return after 5 years to Bermuda where we once lived... Many memories of our family and friends... Lost we believe after night flight on BA at Gatwick London in May 2009... It's a long shot but you never know! If the memory card recovered please post here! Thanks." See contact info HERE.
If you are interested in digital photo (data) preservation, you may want to read Kai Staats are article: "The Inevitable loss of data and the last printed photo" I especially like this phrase: Archiving the invisible. Staats writes: "While some people have an innate sense of the virtual and are able to effectively visualize and manage their computer's storage, most cannot." And another phrase "innate sense of the virtual"
There are a number of lost-and-found photo books. I do have my favorites. I found THIS book the other day. Photographer Unknown by Mike Wellins. It is (I believe) self-published. More people with photo collections should do this. This one is available through Lulu.com. Check it out.
From the description:
"A collection of found images whose photographer is unknown. Taken during the past century and gathered over the last twenty years from junk stores, yard sales and online auctions, Mike Wellins lends the amazing photos a new breath of life in this collection."
"If you see a set of orphan photos from your city, contact a local reporter so we can work together to gain greater exposure and raise the chances of the photos being returned. Share our website through Facebook or Twitter and other social networking sites. Blog about us. Email the link to friends and family. The more people we have reading, the better we can increase our chances of success."