We've been talking about obstacles to the survival of photographs, but, to take it to one more remove, consider that photographs, as ephemeral as they may be, are often used to try to preserve things that have even shorter lives. TOP reader Chad Thompson has been documenting the work of an artist local to him (he thinks it's a guy known as "Spenser") who makes little sculptures out of wire and hangs them anonymously from public signs, where they look like line drawings drawn on the sky. Of course, these wire creations are perishable, because the local authorities have been removing them as soon as they find them. So Chad has been recording their brief existence as best he can. "It is my job—nay—duty to document them," he says.
(Photo by Chad Thompson)
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Phil S: "In a sorta similar vein, every year around Christmastime an anonymous decorator strikes in my Austin, Texas, neighborhood. You know those wordless 'deer may jump in the road' signs which consist of the stylized outline of a deer jumping up on its hind legs as if he or she were about to take flight? Well somewhere during the first week of December this person goes out in the middle of the night and puts little battery-powered red LED lights on the noses of the deer on the signs (and there are a lot of those signs). When driving at night you can see them blinking from very far away. My two small girls just love it! And the best part is that, as far as I could tell, the City did not dispatch the Joy Eradication Unit to remove them."