Degeneration Project

Deconstructing Coney Series. Click to see original.

Deconstructing Coney Series

For those of you who don’t know, I spend most of my weekends (and sunny days that I have off from work), selling my photography at Union Square in Manhattan. Union Square is a major hub for the subway (the NRQW, 4,5,6, and L train) and is also the site of a rather large park which hosts a Farmers Market 4 days a week, as well as a Christmas Market from the last week of November – December 24. That being said thousands of people pass through everyday; myself and a large cadre of artists set up tables and proudly display our work, hoping a passerby will stop and leave with a one of a kind work of art. It’s a funny way to make a living really, relying almost entirely on the impulse sale to pay rent.

A lot of what I sell are original Image Transfers. Similar to Polaroid Transfers, but without all the caustic nasty chemicals. Each time I make a transfer the image comes out different. Each time it is unique, and one of a kind. So what if I happen to make a transfer, and really really like it? If I sell it, well then it’s gone.. I could scan it, and make prints of the scan to sell.. I have far to many images in my inventory as it is. And since I’m a voracious shooter, I’m constantly adding new images to the rotation. Still it was a notion that I found intriguing.

Hence the purpose of this post. I think it is high time we had some audience participation on this blog. I have decided to do a little experiment. Below you will see a poll, these are my top selling images. Of these you will pick your favorite. The three top lucky images will be put to the Degeneration test.

What I intend to do is to make transfers of the three lucky images. After they are all dried and set I will scan them. When the first transfered images sell, I will make transfers from the scans of those images, instead of the original image files. You see where I’m going with this? It’s the whole copy of a copy of a copy thing. I will keep repeating this process until the images degrade to the point of being unrecognizable, or they stop selling (probably the later). I will post images of each generation so we can all see how the transfers change over time. I’m really curious to see how long it takes, and at what point people will stop buying. Or as each image gets more abstract an unrecognizable, will that spur sales of those images?? We will see. The first step is to vote on which images will be our lucky contestants. Polls close April 22nd. Giddy up!

Sunken Garden Muse 2001

Sunken Garden Muse 2001


5 thoughts on “Degeneration Project

  1. Great stuff Mike! Been a long time since we crossed paths at the OneLight in KC… what a small world! My husband and I will be in NYC in July to shoot a wedding…. can’t wait!

  2. Love the blueberries…I might be a bit biased…but then again that’s what purchasing is all about recognizing a piece of ourselves in another persons image.

  3. wow – wish i had seen this in time to Rock My Vote – were we allowed to pick 3 – i can barely narrow it down to that –
    Blueberries, Sunken Garden Muse and the Ulcia… are to die for – but i see now i was just supposed to vote for one – alas, i am torn

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