This has got to stop! For the second time in just a few days, my systems went down and an entire post got zapped. This time it was my DSL, which went down for just long enough to wreak mischief. Then it's back, all innocent. "Post? What post?" Grrr.
Anyway...I've missed some important Kickstarter projects that I meant to mention. Time goes by and things get away from me. I'm sure people think I sit here like Solomon, sagely judging each project on its merits, making closely considered judgments as to which to promote and which to ignore. Not hardly. Actually, I'm confused and frazzled these days. This persistent feeling of having too many balls in the air is not a pleasant feeling.
Before it's too late: Rachel Seed is chasing the shade of her mother, who made a number of short films with a number of now-iconic photographers back in the early '70s. Well, you can watch the intro video for yourself (it's good; you'll enjoy it). The project is called A Photographic Memory. A $50 contribution gets you a free download of the finished film, after it's finished. I'd like to see it. I hope I remember to remember.
Not the only worthwhile project I've meant to mention.
(Thanks to Jim Hughes)
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Featured Comments from:
From Rachel Seed: "Dear Mike, I'm glad you enjoyed the trailer and thank you for supporting the project! You should be one of the first to see the films with your pledge. Thanks and all the best, Rachel."
ADDENDUM from Jim Hughes: Rachel Seed's project, "A Photographic Memory," is at its core a search for her mother, whom Rachel never got to know. Sheila Turner-Seed, who would have been my age by now and who was a friend, died suddenly in 1979, when her daughter was 18 months old. Sheila, who had been married to the British photographer Brian Seed for but a few years, was already a respected writer and editor. She was blessed with a keen intelligence and a rare understanding of the photographic impulse. In conjunction with Cornell Capa's International Fund for Concerned Photography (which led to the establishment of the International Center of Photography in New York) and Scholastic Publishing, Sheila embarked on a pioneering project: to compile an oral and visual history of the world's greatest living photographers who were intent on documenting the human spirit. She interviewed the likes of W. Eugene Smith, Don McCullin, Roman Vishniac, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Brian Lanker, Lisette Model, William Albert Allard and, of course, Cornell Capa, for whom Brian Seed had once worked as an assistant and who had introduced the couple.
The result was "Images of Man," a teaching aid widely used not just in photographic education but across the social studies and humanities spectrum. A Teaching Guide was issued as a softcover book, and each photographer's body of work was turned into either slide sets or filmstrips, and accompanied by synchronized tape cassettes offering vivid descriptions of individual photographs and working methods in the photographer's own voice. The program was a revelation to students. Here is an excerpt of Gene Smith discussing his essay about Maude Callen, the Nurse Midwife, with each sentence accompanied by a new projected image: "This essay...is in many ways the most rewarding experience photography has allowed me. At the time of the essay, she bore near total responsibility for several thousand scattered, swampbound backwoods individuals. They are better off for her care, and I certainly know that I am a better person for her influence. And if that sounds like a love letter...it is.
"...So here, at most, I am giving you twenty-five minutes of a lifetime....my lifetime. Anything that may tickle your curiosity, that challenges you, that you wonder, well, what else is behind that? Well, I hope that you take it from there."
Rachel Seed started to discover her mother's voice when she found some leftover materials from the project in her father's home. It included a letter from Brian Seed indicating he was returning to ICP boxes of tapes, transcripts, notes and journals that Sheila had left behind. Rachel, herself a budding photographer, went to New York, was welcomed into the ICP family, and began digging through the boxes, which had evidently been left untouched for more than 30 years. Thus began the quest to accomplish what essentially amounted to a collaboration between Rachel and her mother to produce a film...about photographic memory.