@600 was conceived as a playful experiment – what it in fact is and may become over time and for each and all – will shift as every document and statement inevitably, and thankfully will do. We would like to reference here however three ways the work might be considered today – three among three thousand surely – but here are three.
@600 was a collective, performative, photographic shot in the dark – for many, literally -- the dark of the night. Photographers function independently for the most part and while they share strong friendships, their personal work is most often done alone. Thus it was wonderful to see that in less than 5 weeks after announcing the project, making invitations and receiving submissions – the photographs had been taken, selected and posted. Many of us felt a powerful connection with our peers, our communities and the world as we released the shutter @600 knowing that our colleagues from around the world would be doing the same in the same moment. For many this may be the enduring connection with the project – the sense of coming together at a precise moment through a medium that we all love. We encourage those of you who participated but have not spoken about your experience or the photograph to add a few words when you find time and if you would like to share how the project, the moment and the photograph @600 had meaning for you.
Secondly, @600 was a planned archive and an intentional document of that precise moment. Certainly it has no claim to objectivity as the choice of photographers, locales and their choice of subjects were all subjective and even idiosyncratic. But because of the number of views and the structure of the project the collection will, as most archives do, yield some information immediately and more later. Insights perhaps that no one might have anticipated. Writing recently about work with archives for Aperture, Winter 2008, Issue 193, Ulrich Baer made this point: “What belongs in an archive? Everything that someone does not wish to forget and everything that someone believes will hold the key to the future.” He goes on to make a wish for a more hopeful stance for archives that they might “chart a path for someone to construct his or her own archive of light, of hope and of shadings of life as yet unlived, and may allow us to see the past not as something static but as something yet to be delivered.’ We hope that this collection of images will offer in its small way a statement about the world at this moment. It offers the views of 100 photographers who chose to seize at a precise moment a photograph to give to others they knew would be sharing the experience with them.
Finally, @600 is a photographic essay in the old French sense of the term – “to try, to attempt” – to sally forth and see what might be done and then render a visual report of what happened as a result. We know our world is more highly interwoven as result of our advancing media and technologies. That our small team with such ordinary tools could elicit on short notice such a broad and deep response is revealing of the possibilities of the times and the world we share now – and that some of us shared with camera’s on November 4, 2008, @600.
The Mus-Mus Team