I’m a huge fan of wonderful photography. I am also fortunate to have a number of wonderful photographers as friends (hi Elizabeth! hi JR! hi Kevin!) These connections have led me to follow Kyle Cassidy, a very talented photographer imbedded in a certain nexus of nerdery (Neil Gaiman/Amanda Palmer/etc) that I appreciate.

Anyway, Kyle recently concieved and executed a project called the Hive, where he tapped 22 followers of his blog/friends to carry a camera around for 2 days, taking a picture of whatever they were currently facing at the cue of occasional text messages. JR Blackwell was one of them, and her blog first alerted me to the project; of course, I followed up, and wow! Very engaging.

One of JR’s pics:

a JR Blackwell photo for The Hive

a JR Blackwell photo for The Hive

Explore the Hive. Description from the site:

As fine art photography increasingly at times adopts the tropes of snapshots I often find myself in galleries wondering if the artist didn’t possess some sort of faulty camera whose shutter tripped randomly. This got me wondering — “What if I were able to control the camera around someone else’s neck from far away? They’d go about their lives, and at random times, I’d use a remote control to take a photo. What would I see? This was the basis of the Hive Photography Project. I got a group of volunteers scattered across the country to carry their cameras with them everywhere for two days and, from dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of miles away, I triggered their shutters via an SMS text message.

Ultimately, I’m not sure what this proves. Perhaps that people have a desire to be part of something, and a desire to create, or that from idle hands will blossom art with a little effort or maybe that it doesn’t take an Infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of cameras to get a gallery show in New York.

In conjunction with any of those, it shows that technology enables people to collaborate on projects that even a few years ago would have required a Herculean effort. Some of these will fail, some will succeed, and the rest will land somewhere in the middle.