Collective Histories of Everyday Life
By Annebella Pollen
ISBN 9781784530112, Hardback
Published September 9, 2020 by Routledge
With increasingly accessible camera technology, crowdsourced public media projects abound like never before. Such projects often seek to secure a snapshot of a single day in order to establish communities and create visual time capsules for the future. Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life assesses the potential of these popular moment-in-time projects by examining their current day prevalence and their historical predecessors. Through archival research and interviews with organisers and participants, it examines, for the first time, the vast photographic collections resulting from such projects, analysing their structures and systems, their aims and objectives, and their claims and promises. The central case study is the 55,000 photographs submitted to One Day for Life in 1987, which aimed, in its own time, to be ‘the biggest photographic event the world had ever seen’.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Approaching Mass
Photography: Methods, Models and Debates
Chapter 1: Days in the life: From Mass Observation to crowdsourcing
Chapter 2: One Day for Life: Charity, competition, archive
Chapter 3: Everyday life and ordinary photography: Documentary hopes and expectations
Chapter 4: Scale and monumentality: Collective identity and imagined community
Chapter 5: Humanism and compassion: Photographic democracy and emotional affect
Chapter 6: Competitive aesthetics: Art, amateurism and ambition
Chapter 7: Visual time capsules: Photographic memory and historical desire
Chapter 8: Legacies, promises and potential
Appendix: Research methods
Annebella Pollen is Principal Lecturer and Academic Programme Leader in the History of Art and Design at the University of Brighton, UK.
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