"1 year ago I was asked by a little boy in Christchurch, New Zealand if I had been eaten by a shark.
2 months ago I was asked by an elderly woman in Sighisoara, Romania if I had lost my legs in a car accident.
6 weeks ago I was asked by a bar patron in Helena, Montana if I still wore my dog tags from Iraq.
Everyone tries to create a story
in their heads to explain the things that baffle them. For the same
reason we want to know how a magic trick works, or how mystery novel
ends, we want to know how someone different, strange, or disfigured
came to be as they are. Everyone does it. It's natural. It's curiosity.
before any of us can ponder or speculate - we react. We stare. Whether
it is a glance or a neck twisting ogle, we look at that which does not
seem to fit in our day to day lives. It is that one instant of
unabashed curiosity - more reflex than conscious action - that makes us
who we are and has been one of my goals to capture over the past year.
is after this instant that we try to hazard a guess as to why such an
anomalous person exists. Was it disease? Was it a birth defect? Was it
a landmine? These narratives all come from the context in which we live
our lives. Illness, drugs, calamity, war - all of these might become
potential stories depending upon what we are exposed to in connection
each photograph the subjects share a commonality, but what does their
context say? Looking at each face, I saw humanity. Rolling through
their streets, I found the unique cultures and customs that created an
If you, like me, collective best-of-breed examples of effective data visualization, be sure to check out The New York Times' "Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 - 2007". It's a great example of how to show an immense amount of information in a very simple and engaging format. Good stuff.
This morning on The Awearness Blog we launched the first in a series of five short documentaries about homelessness in Los Angeles, produced by Good Magazine and writer/activist Sam Slovick. The videos was developed with support from Kenneth Cole's Awearness Fund. To learn more about the project, click here.
Billboard has a story out today that suggests that blog posts can triple future album sales, according to a new study from researchers at New York University.
"NYU Stern professor Vasant Dhar and former student
Elaine Chang sampled 108 albums released between January and March of
2007 to determine the impact of blog chatter on record sales. Using
Amazon.com sales rankings, albums were tracked four weeks before and
four weeks after release.
Researchers found that when an album got mention in
more than 40 legitimate blog posts, sales were three times the average.
If those albums were associated with major labels, sales jumped five
times the average. Albums that got more than 250 blog mentions saw
sales increases of six times the average.
The number of MySpace friends the artist had also
improved album sales, but researchers said there was a weaker
correlation than with blog chatter."
If you haven't yet watched this clip of Damien Hirst's interview with Charlie Rose about the (RED) auction, you should.
At the very start of the interview Hirst says something that I thought was quite impressive, and a terrific reminder of the importance of the "personal touch". Hirst tells Rose that he hand wrote 200 personal letters to each of the artists who he asked to participate in the auction.
When was the last time you hand wrote a single letter, let alone 200 of them?