One of the original things that inspired me to start my disposable camera installations was this post, where Matthew McVickar sent a disposable camera through the mail in a way that allowed postal workers to document its journey. I decided I would finally do it myself, and fashioned a camera to some cardboard with tape and the appropriate cut outs. I sent it out to my friend Olivia in Chicago and waited.
By the time Olivia got it, barely ten pictures had been taken. We were bummed, but she decided to send it to her friend in Massachussettes who then sent it back to me. When I got the camera back it was full and I took it to get developed. Unfortunately, almost no one used the flash button, so 99% of them came out blurry, grainy, and purple.
Something I didn’t think about was that the people handling my camera in Massachusettes might have handled Matthew’s camera a couple years ago. I realized it when I got my film developed, though. Is this guy the same guy from Matthew’s post?! In his post it’s the third picture down; the guy in the black shirt. It’s harder to tell because my photos didn’t really come out, but I swear it’s him. So cool!!
I know it’s not the best quality, but it’s still fun to peek around and see some of the behind-the-scenes work!
The camera was actually supposed to take another detour to California, but it got sent back to Boston. When it got there, Titanium Cranium snapped a photos of PYR, a local public art piece. And that giant building in the background? The United States Postal Service, baby!
What a journey this camera went on! From Baltimore to Chicago to Boston, all the way back to Baltimore, it survived to tell the tale.
Thanks again to Olivia Arrow and Titanium Cranium for obliging me with this project. They actually run a Tumblr together, celebrating the colors Purple and Orange, so go say hi and tell them Uncustomary sent you.
Other write-ups: Boston Globe, OliviaArrow
I love that people along the way actually participated
Agreed!! So much fun. I love when people can get involved in something that might be viewed as weird. 🙂
This is really the most fabulous idea but i do wish they used the flash…..maybe if you do it again you can put a big note that suggests that? But, you’re right, these are still fun to see! Good idea, my friend!
Yeah next time I’m going to have to make a giant arrow with a lot of bright colors so people pay attention! Haha. But thank you! I’m glad you like it.
this is such a cool idea! it would be even better with the flash – you might have to do round 2 and add that to the instructions :). Also, I was thinking this would be a cool thing to do as a blogger type link up/chain letter. Send a camera around to a bunch of bloggers around the country (or even the world!) and have them take a selfie and a shot of where they live and do a big conglomerate of everybody!
Yeah agreed. I did write a note pointing out the flash, but I definitely need to draw more attention to it next time. I love the idea of collecting selfies from around the world, though! Next time. 🙂
This was super fun, Mary! Thanks for sending me such a fun piece of mailart. I just posted about it on my blog as well. 😀
Thanks for playing along!! 🙂
Hey Mary – Great idea! Really wish the pics would have come out better, but still a wonderful story. How about doing it again and sharing more info like how long the travels took, GPS info if it is pic inscribed, and maybe what postal facilities it traveled through? We posted on our Postal Newsgroup Blog to share with other postal workers …and thanks for using the U.S. Postal Service!
Yeah! This was totally a learning experience and I have lots of ideas for the next ones. Thanks for sharing, too! I’m glad you liked it.
MARY SERIOUSLY oh my goodness this is so cool! I actually love the accidental purple vignetting and the graininess, it makes it look so eerie–that’s not the word I’m looking for, but something like that. I feel like a lot of the time when I do interactive things like this, a little test run is invaluable. Then once you figure out everything that went wrong or could be improved the first time, you can fix it for the next time, like making a note to people to use the flash, or getting an automatic flash disposable camera.
Anyhow, suffice to say you are amazing and full of the coolest creativity.
Yeah exactly! Next time will be 200X better because of this learning process. I’ve always loved the way you can find beauty in everything, Carly.