Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deed of Gift

Today I met with Kate Fermoile, vice president of exhibitions, and Julie May, the Photo Archivist at BHS. It was a great feeling to slide three DVD's that contain 281 digital portraits that will now be processed into the Brooklyn Historical Society's permanent collection. For the photo archivist, librarians, digital collectors, and photo nerds ( I know who you are!) you might be interested to know that the files are 16 bit TIFF files at 3200 pixels. Along with the digital files, Kate helped me photo copy all the accompanying surveys the subjects filled out. Julie also got a digital copy of all of those, but also wanted hard copy.

Now it will be one of her intern's jobs to to go through and clean up the meta data. Meta data is all the "aboutness" for a photograph and includes photographer, date, location, but will also include information that the subjects supplied about themselves including name, address, occupation, time spent living in Brooklyn and the "wild card" box where they could write anything.

Julie supplied me with a sort of temporary receipt called "Temporary Custody Receipt"while BHS is in the processes of revising their "Deed of Gift" form and I have more time to contemplate how I want to treat the copyright of all of my images.

As a photographer and a contemporary person, my consideration to photographs began by first being the subject of photographs (this happens to nearly all of us at birth). Much later I began to consider photographs as a viewer. Later my relationship with them has been taking and making my own photographs, and considering how a viewer will interact with them. When I think about a viewer, it is almost strictly people seeing my photographs in gallery exhibitions.

Doing Face of Brooklyn has expanded my realization that any photograph I take could have a a lifespan that far exceeds my mortal life. As I have mentioned before, I began to think about photographs in multiples, as collections, and after my conversation with Julie about copyright, I realized that these Face of Brooklyn portraits will have a much longer life than mine, they could also have many incarnations and that "viewers" would mean much more than a person who attends an art exhibition.

Tomorrow, I will post about all the possible incarnations that could await them as part of a collection at BHS.

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