The World on its Side mini-project grew out of a chat Alex and I were having about Los Angeles. Strange.rs is an international collective, so we knew we couldn’t tackle an LA theme literally. We needed to find another way in. The mood of a Bukowski or Fante novel seemed an interesting way to go.
To that end, we chose 10 strange.rs each and started pouring through their archives, looking for pictures that fit. Anything with obvious clues to location was generally axed, and they had to have that feeling that things were wrong, that they were tough, while at the same time maintaining a willingness to enjoy the good parts of life — fully. We chose 11 pictures from each photographer and stuck them in a folder, numbered them and went off to see the horses. A trip to Santa Anita later and after drawing name-and-race combinations from a hat at the Down & Out in downtown LA, we had an edit.
20 photographs, sequenced and chosen by horses and jockeys.
We didn’t lift another finger. We wanted a truly (mostly) random edit.
We got it.
Overall, I’m pretty surprised. A few jarring transitions, sure. I would have certainly chosen quite a few different pictures if I had had control, but reading into it a bit, I can begin to discern a narrative for sure. Interesting result, anyway, when you look around the Web and see all the “curated” presentations out there, to realize that you can get a decent, 20-photograph edit out of thousands of images by relative strangers, by way of horses and barflies.