What We Leave Behind
What We Leave Behind invites community members to create a participatory art project in the form of a photo archive. Today, photos exist online through social media, cloud storage, or on our phones, raising the question of whether physical photographs will be around for future generations to remember the past. A social engagement proposal that translates memories into tangible photos, What We Leave Behind asks members of the public to print two copies of a personal photo of their choice—one for them to keep and the other to be part of a collection of crowd-sourced photographs. Depending on the individual, the photos range from sentimental to artistic to familial, a favorite memory, or something completely random.
These images are then curated by me into a “common snapshot” photo album referencing different communities and their memories. By transferring these memories into a collective album, the mundane, traditional snapshot is elevated into a precious physical object. Viewers are then welcome to sit at tables and rifle through the photo boxes, sharing their favorite photos and conversing with nearby visitors. The albums offer a voyeuristic gaze into the lives of others while fostering conversation and building community.