Congratulations to Mary Jeys

Mary’s project is part community engagement, part economic anthropology, and part technological rescue.

Thank you to all of our 2011 Summer Stipend Finalists.

Brooklyn TorchMary described her project — Instant Film Documentation of Brooklyn Torch exchanges — this way:

To document every monetary exchange I make with reverse engineered Polaroid film in a classic Business Edition Polaroid camera for 31 days representing one month.

On average, I participate in two to four cash-based monetary or service exchanges per day. This proposal is to document each exchange with a Polaroid camera at the point of purchase. The resulting photo document project will serve as evidence of my local exchanges within New York City. Each photograph will constitute a record of me using a Brooklyn Torch to attempt to purchase a good or service from my encounters during normal daily spending habits. These exchange encounters will be an opportunity for me put the local currency into goods and service providers’ minds.

She earned overwhelming praise from our panelists:

“There is a lot being taken on here – an economic idea about local currency, revitalizing an older technology that might otherwise be obsolete, the power of photographic documentation, etc.”

“The multi-pronged approach both benefits the local community at large and emphasizes the importance of sustainability on a larger scale.”

“Polaroid film used to capture the relationships between members of a community using a new currency feels a lot like a Movement, not just an artist’s work. It addresses a current need, and a new way of seeing the world during a time of great disappointment in the status quo.”

“Merging this nostalgia-laden (my nostalgia) technology with a well-structured documentary approach sounds like a terrific project.”

“I got very excited reading about this project. the convergence of the Brooklyn Torch Project and the Impossible Project is a compelling idea. Both projects seem particularly appropriate in this time of financial instability and interest in local empowerment. By highlighting the local transactions through a medium that is in itself a rejection of the status quo, you are bringing attention to the power of individual initiative and resourcefulness.”

Read more about Mary’s project from her Stipend application.