Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2015

Jasmine Lam
206 Discarded Photographs | 24 Found Stories
Jasmine Lam
206 Discarded Photographs | 24 Found Stories

The study of the evolution of the image is presented in two complimentary books. The first, 24 Found Stories, explores photography through the lens of memory and narrative, showing the loss of range in photo format as cell phone cameras increase in popularity. The book spans 90 years, from film-based to smartphone photography. While the formal narratives of our lives remain the same, the aesthetic of the photographs transform over the decades, from un-retouched and authentic to uniformly shaped and altered through software. This gradual change is subtle, yet it is noticeable enough to even the untrained eye. The photographs in 24 Found Stories were collected from close friends to distant strangers after being asked to provide a photograph that describes a memory that holds a large importance to them. The second book, 206 Discarded Photographs, is a collection of disposed photographs found at various thrift stores around Brooklyn. The book presents several typologies of social experience such as weddings, formal portraits, and the traces of a baby’s growth. The formal qualities such as the poses and gestures of the subjects of these photographs in each typology remain constant despite when the photograph was taken. Both works speak to the human condition; one through a series of narratives and the other through a visual journey of the trajectory of a life that transcends race, gender, and age. Together these books allow for the reader to feel a sense of connectedness to others while also considering the photograph as an evolving medium.

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