52 by 52 8:17am, 15 March 2012
Challenge #29: Make a portrait where the primary goal is to engineer intimacy from a situation that is fundamentally artificial.
— Chris Floyd

Chris adds "I often photograph people in situations and environments that are artificial and in no way intimate. For example, actors in hotel rooms on press junkets. We are surrounded by the paraphernalia of the film PR set up, other people, noise, etc. And also, a short window of time in which to execute it. The intimacy we create will, in itself, be fake because it won't be the natural kind that in real life might take days or weeks. It's an inherently fake situation.

Out of all that I am trying to pull an image that is quiet, thoughtful and intimate. This requires me, through my interaction with them, to put them in a place where they actually forget all that and the moment just becomes something that only exists between them and my camera.

When it comes it can feel like a few moments of weightlessness and that's when I grab it."


Portrait — Christopher Eccleston

Project — One Hundred & Fourty Characters

"In July 2010 I decided to begin photographing people that I follow on Twitter. The idea for this came at a moment when I realised I had not seen or spoken to any of my best half a dozen real and actual friends for over a month. Some of those people on Twitter I communicate with several times a week, in bursts of 140 characters or less, and yet I had never met any of them. As we are now well and truly living in a digital age I am aware that this state of being is only going to deepen and the traditional forms of friendship, although they will not go away anytime soon, are going to have to make more room for the new way of doing things.

Where Facebook might be considered as the place in which you tell lies to all the people you went to school with, I had begun to think of Twitter as the place where you tell the truth to all those that you wish you’d gone to school with. The project rolled on indefinitely for almost a year but when, one day, I counted up the number of subjects to date and came to a number in the mid one hundred and thirties, I immediately knew where this had to end.

So here they are. My new friends. 140 characters. No more and no less."

View the project >


As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group, this can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts this week.

— 52 by 52 team
Mark W Russell 6 years ago
I'm intrigued by Chris's "One Hundred & Fourty Characters" project. Anthropologists say that the maximum number of real circle of friends and acquittance is about 150, and some say that is the optimum size of the ideal village or community.
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