The Things We Carry Photo Assignment


Drawing inspiration from Jason Travis’


series (see: (Links to an external site.)

), this assignment asks you to document three people and their “mobile lives.” The goal of this assignment is to expand our definition of “mobile media” to include the mobile devices, objects, and technologies that people carry with them on a day-to-day basis. The mobile media that we are regarding as part of metropolitan existence in our contemporary world live in a media ecology with other mobile objects like wallets, keys, identification cards, writing utensils, tools of all sorts, and items that are required to get us through the day while we are on the move.

For this assignment, you will create three diptych photographs: on the top will be a well-crafted portrait of the person, and on the bottom will be the objects they carry on them in a given day. You may work with your “clients” to curate which objects get displayed (or, alternatively, you can surprise your client while they are out and about, asking them to display the objects they have with them at that moment). These photographs should be well-composed, well-lit, and aesthetically beautiful, in that they are cropped and presented well, to focus on the objects at hand. You will save your final products as high-resolution jpegs, submitting them to the BB site for this class.

The outcome should include a brief 100-250 word write-up describing process and it should include some speculation about how the non-tech objects might be converted into an Internet of Things (IoT) device

; be specific how and why you’d do it (e.g., if combs, lip balm, pens, so forth, become IoT mechanisms, what’s being measured; why would it be desired data for user or company and what might be the pitfalls of enabling such an object to become an IoT, be specific about the issues).

You will be graded on the following rubric:

  • Project clearly addresses the goals of this assignment; it is complete and posted on time.
  • Project displays the “mobile lives” of participants in a visually compelling way
  • Project is well edited and photographs are well lit.
  • Photographs are well chosen and framed (it’s likely you have to take many to decide on best)
  • Background for photographs is well chosen
  • Creation of the diptych is done without errors or flaws
  • Photographs are high resolution (or, good enough to not have any blurring)
  • Project includes 3 diptychs
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