Jamie Livingston - A 365x19 series you MUST see!

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    Photo by Jamie Livingston

    There's a lot of 365 series on Flickr, but as far as I know there's only one 365 series that goes on for 19 years--by the late Jamie Livingston.

    Livingston was a video artist and musician who took a single Polaroid a day from 1979 until his death in 1997. The picture above shows the series as of March 30, 1986.

    To look through these images one by one is to have an unparalled artistic and emotional experience. If you are a student of photography and/or of life, you MUST see this exhibit.


    If you go searching around you'll find blogs and news articles which discuss the site, but I'm not sure any of the writers took the innumerable hours to look through every photo (it took me 3 months to get through). The subtleties of life's dynamics hit you right in the face, from the progression of his career to how his friends changes when he got new girlfriends to his obsession with the New York Mets and circuses to the changes in New York City over the period to the emergence and path of his illness. One also experiences a truly artistic photographer, with all the ups and downs of quality that we see in each others photostreams, except writ over 19 years. But make no mistake--these shots were not about creating photographic art--they are about documenting everyday life.

    The photos over the last year will break your heart, and one in particular I find one the most moving I have seen in my life.

    I wish I could have met Jamie. The two specific musical references that show up the most (not that often) are to Frank Zappa and the Residents--anyone who would have them as faves is a person close to my artisitic soul...

    (Thanks to Lake Li Sun for turning me onto this.)

    Bad, Bad Lechroy Brown, and 43 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. KEIKO loves you! 77 months ago | reply

      This is amazing!!!

    2. andrewlee1967 77 months ago | reply

      Would love to see this.

    3. LukeOlsen 77 months ago | reply

      Very moving indeed.

    4. Malage21 77 months ago | reply

      me gusta... impresiona ese encuadre!! MJ

    5. Lake Li Sun 77 months ago | reply

      Oh hey! Cool, Thanks for the "Thanks" Kevin. And thanks for the fine presentation here. Since first seeing...well, "hearing" about this online I have wanted to see it in the real. I think I think about it/him every day.

      Awesome pic and description man! I like how you put all that...and good to hear you dig Frank and, oh yes, The Residents!


    6. _Zinni_ 77 months ago | reply

      A great photo of photos, thank you for information Kevin!

    7. tengtan (catching up) 77 months ago | reply

      Fine tribute!

      Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)

    8. *setsuna 77 months ago | reply


    9. ~lala~(Lisa) 77 months ago | reply

      It is truly a journey to be dedicated as such for a 365 x 19 years...one year alone without interruption is mind boggling in itself...whether documenting life as it is on a daily basis or doing it in the artistic sense (of course, my road of travel choice to keep the creative aspect of my brain in motion) all of it, takes discipline as well for the task at hand. Amazing to discover as the journey takes place and where it leads...and even more amazing when others follow/watch the path unfold...as if joined together in a way. Thank you, Kevin for the insight and link...I will have to add to my fave links and start viewing the journey as well.

    10. Melinda ^..^ 77 months ago | reply

      great perspective!

    11. uoıʇnloʌǝɹʍol 77 months ago | reply

      amazing. what a project. what a great idea.


    12. 3dphoto.net 77 months ago | reply

      If I recall, this was the fellow who in the end died of cancer, and documented that as well. I do remember reading about him- amazing "foresight" to do such a project in the analog days, and Polaroids, though not taken seriously due to their poor quality, had a certain element of warmth and intimacy to them- really snaps of everyday life, that transcended their technical limitations. To this day Flickrites the world over try to mimic those effects digitally, so it says something to the power of the Polaroid. Somehow looking at an old Polaroid is the visual akin to listening to a low-quality, scratchy old Blues record.

    13. *toni.r 77 months ago | reply

      immensely immense! has inspired me... from 01/01/09 i am going to take and print out one pic a day... even if i don't post it, i'll stick it on my wall... just a visual diary... exciting! am feeling a bit dance-y at prospect... oh kevin! thank you. again.

    14. kstoon 77 months ago | reply

      this is fantastic. i plan to visit more of this site as i have time. very inspiring.

    15. -J.Z- 77 months ago | reply


    16. KLnyc 77 months ago | reply

      shit, thats freaking awesome.
      Yah, flickr has some cheesey 365 that make me puke :(

    17. artland 77 months ago | reply

      wonderfulllllllllll !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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