Lost and Found: The Search for Harry and Edna
My name is Jeff Phillips. I am social collaboration consultant for a firm in Chicago. I am also very involved in the contemporary photography community, and this project draws on my experience in both fields.
I propose to present "Lost and Found: The Search for Harry and Edna," which is the result of a project that is at the intersection of social media, contemporary photography, and shifting values.
In 2011, I found more than 1,000 abandoned photographs, and conducted a social media experiment to find the anonymous subjects. What happened next was both funny and surreal.
My presentation blends quirky photographs with humorous storytelling and compelling questions, causing the audience ponder their own behavior in a digital world.
I have been very fortunate to have this project featured in publications such as World Photography Organization's The Magazine, LENSCRATCH, PetaPixel, and on TV and radio across the country. I would love to expand and refine it for SXSW.
Additional Supporting Materials
- How many years would it take to identify an unknown person in a 50 year old photograph, if shared only through social media?
- When presented with an anonymous photograph that has been stripped of its original context, why are viewers' interpretations so troubling?
- How has social media changed the way we make, consume, and share photographs?
- How has social media changed the role of the "snapshot," which has always been so important to our culture?
- With mobile digital photography, social media services, and pervasive cloud storage, are the photographs we make today at greater or lesser risk of the same fate as this collection of personal memories from the 1950s?
- Jeff Phillips Independent Artist
Jeff Phillips Independent Artist
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