‘Document democracy’, ‘Design for Democracy’, ‘Polling Place Photo Project’ – these are a few of the catchy terms all applying to tomorrow’s open-source nationwide photography event, where AIGA ((another convoluted acronym, it’s actually impossible to find out on AIGA’s website what it stands for! I eventually found out on their Wikipedia entry)) is asking for participants (following local law of course)
to collect photographs of every polling place in America
Unfortunately it’s initiative is purely design-oriented ((”With citizens’ images and the information that accompanies them, the Project becomes a research tool on how voting happens in America and how it can be designed to be easier, less confusing and more enjoyable.”)), but I think it has lots of other great applications, such as the spontaneous collective social photography that hopefully will come out of this project (browse photographs here). Conceptually perhaps most-interesting is under their ‘How To Participate‘, where it says, in bold no less:
If you are wondering what to photograph, take a picture of that!
I think this notion best-underpins their objectives, and I also wish that this approach to photography was taken more-often! I know I sure as hell take a lot of photographs, digitally, on average around 20-30 a day (11,000 a year!), and I’ve found some of the best photos I’ve taken are the ones where I spent the least amount of time wondering about what to photograph.