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Jeff Harris: 4,748 Self-Portraits and Counting ...
January 6, 2012 1:36 PM   Subscribe

"In 1999, Toronto-based photographer Jeff Harris began taking a photo of himself each day as an alternative to all those diaries he started but couldn't keep up. But what began as a self-portrait project has evolved considerably in its 13 years. Harris' photographs aren't the typical, self-portrait vanity projects that crop up on YouTube now and again. Instead, he used the project to inspire him in his daily life, to go out and do something that would get him off his couch....This story becomes even more incredible as it progresses, but it's difficult to explain without cheapening it."* So watch it now [video || 05:26].
posted by ericb (22 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Harris also has an interactive Journal that allows readers to submit writing about a day from their life. Their stories are juxtaposed with his self portrait from that same day."*
posted by ericb at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2012


I don't want to post any spoilers, but there's some pretty gory stuff in there.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:41 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to post any spoilers, but there's some pretty gory stuff in there.

Yeah, I don't even know what was actually going on in that one shot--but I think it's totally worth it. That was a great piece, and I really liked his photos.

If you're squeamish, close your eyes between, say 3:20 and 3:28 and just listen to the interview.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:55 PM on January 6, 2012


Thanks for the post.
posted by HuronBob at 1:55 PM on January 6, 2012


Spoiler: Wesley Willis at 2:00!
posted by JudgeIto at 1:55 PM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


That was awesome.
posted by Phreesh at 1:56 PM on January 6, 2012


Ha! I know Jeff; he was one of the photo editors at The Eyeopener, the student newspaper at Ryerson University, when I was one of the entertainment editors, and then EIC, there. He was brilliant even then. Great to see he's still doing well.
posted by Shepherd at 1:56 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


This sounds like something that Jay Stuckey did as an undergrad at Brown back in '88 or so.
posted by vhsiv at 1:59 PM on January 6, 2012


If you're squeamish, close your eyes between, say 3:20 and 3:28 and just listen to the interview.

Darn. Too late. It's after 5 here on the east coast.
posted by hal9k at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


That was stunning and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
posted by defenestration at 2:15 PM on January 6, 2012


Touching - thank you for posting this.
posted by glaucon at 2:34 PM on January 6, 2012


I watched but was unaware there was audio. Sigh. In a way, slightly aggravating, since I would have preferred a slideshow + text, but I an artist has the right to present their work as they see fit. Fascinating pics, though I still have no idea of the story (missing the whole audio thing....)
posted by Bovine Love at 2:36 PM on January 6, 2012


Aw. Thanks for that. I felt simultaneously sympathetic and really, really admiring. Cool guy.
posted by RokkitNite at 2:47 PM on January 6, 2012


Okay, we have to have spoilers in here some time because I also watched it without audio. It was great but I want to know what happened!
posted by alms at 3:03 PM on January 6, 2012


Spoilers:

He had cancer. A tumour was removed from his back which required severing his sciatic nerve, leaving one leg fully paralyzed and him with mobility issues. His photos are amazing.
posted by hepta at 3:24 PM on January 6, 2012


this is one I'm glad I watched before reading the comments.
posted by fistynuts at 3:39 PM on January 6, 2012


I've been exposed to a lot of cancer stuff on the internets but that was one of the first items that evoked a real "fuck cancer" from me.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 4:20 PM on January 6, 2012


Thanks for sharing. I am struck by a certain tension -- how a photography project that documents the changing/transitional/impermanent nature of a person's daily life takes on this additional element of documenting his struggle against the changes wrought by cancer and disability--his striving to remain the same person he was before: "If there's a fence, I'm going to climb it, or if there's a river, I'm going to canoe down it." You can't step (or dive) into the same river twice, but you can certainly keep stepping into rivers.
posted by drlith at 4:51 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now being home and having watched the video, I feel very crap about saying "doing well" above -- "doing as well or better than could be expected, and man, what an amazing story" is what I'd be writing, had we an edit function. Wow.
posted by Shepherd at 5:06 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fantastic and very moving. Was not what I expected when I started watching to be sure!
posted by leslies at 7:08 PM on January 6, 2012


Awesome. I was a fan what with all the jumping into lakes and rivers and then... to keep doing it, even as life takes a lurching skid.
posted by bumpkin at 7:42 PM on January 6, 2012


This is what I read metafilter for. I won't forget this one.
posted by namasaya at 4:46 PM on January 10, 2012


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