The Best Thing I’ve Seen Today: Jamie Livingston’s Eighteen Years of a Daily Photo

by rferron

Today’s inspiration comes from Jamie Livingston: A simple website of every photo taken shows the happy and mundane sides of his life, but the photos of his last year are particularly poignant as he quickly goes from brain surgery, to marriage, to death at age 41. Livingston was a filmmaker and appeared to live in or near Greenwich Village. He captured some of the newsworthy items of this time via snapshots of the television screen or newspaper headlines (e.g., invasion of Kuwait, O.J. Simpson verdict, Reagan-Carter debates), but the real beauty of the collection is the small glimpse into his view of life.

After Livingston’s death, his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid put together a public exhibit and website using the photos and called it PHOTO OF THE DAY: 1979-1997, 6,697 Polaroids, dated in sequence. The physical exhibit opened in 2007 at the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College (where Livingston started the series, as a student, way back when). The exhibit included rephotographs of every Polaroid and took up a 7 x 120 foot space (via The Quotidian Diary, and Mental Floss).
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