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Archive for November, 2008

This might look like a page from a J. Crew catalog, but in fact it’s a clever photographic experiment called “Sort” that appeals to the collector, the organizer as well as the photographer in me. Not to mention I love any excuse to group things visually by color (see Etsy, lynda, Crayola).

Paho Mann

Paho Mann

Paho Mann, a Texas-based photographer, took pictures of everything in the apartment he shares with his girlfriend Leigh, cataloging his own consumer tendencies. He then uploaded the images to a website and grouped them by object size, material, color, location, owner, use type, price, etc. Using dropdown filters, visitors can “rummage” through the “apartment,” peeking into closets and rooms, building a vague sense of who these people are by what they own.

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Behind the Scenes

Taryn Simon‘s photo project, “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar,” answers questions most of us wouldn’t even know to ask.

Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon

Does Playboy publish a Braille version of its magazine? Yes. Did the CIA use Abstract Expressionism to advance pro-American thought abroad? Perhaps. What happens to all the forbidden fruit brought into the US on foreign flights? The answer lies in this photo of African yams, Andean potatoes and Bangladeshi cucurbit plants piling up like a Flemish still life gone bad.

Simon explains in a footnote: “All items in the photograph were seized from the baggage of passengers arriving in the U.S. at JFK Terminal 4 from abroad over a 48-hour period. All seized items are identified, dissected, and then either ground up or incinerated. JFK processes more international passengers than any other airport in the United States.”

She documents the off-limits — cryogenics labs, quarantine rooms and nuclear waste facilities — with a quiet clinical, abstraction that throws the illicit nature of these scenes into sharp relief.

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