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(Still) Declassified.
July 2, 2009 8:02 AM   Subscribe

(Still) Declassified. "In January 2009, I had an idea; photograph people in their homes that have placed a wide variety of personal advertisements. Although I imagined most people wouldn’t want to give up their anonymity, I rightly imagined some would be willing to. "

Mark Andrew's personal website couldn't handle the first FPP posted by UbuRoivas--nerve.com is now hosting 13 of these images (with accompanying craigslists ads).

One image (still) possibly NSFW.
posted by availablelight (52 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
photograph people in their homes that have placed a wide variety of personal advertisements

Me: single white 3-bedroom ranch.
You: half-acre lot in desirable neighborhood, good school system.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:09 AM on July 2, 2009


Ha, the image of the couple on Nerve, of all places, has been touched up to take out the naughty bits.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:19 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Also, no uggos."
posted by ColdChef at 8:24 AM on July 2, 2009


"to you whom smiled at me"

Baw! Ha ha ha! Really?
posted by interrobang at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2009


"Also, no uggos."

What an asshat. I wonder what his mefi username is.
posted by stavrogin at 8:32 AM on July 2, 2009


Huh; this post has taught me that although cracked.com is blocked at work for being "tasteless and offensive" and darkpassage.com is considered "criminal activity", nerve.com is fine. Pretty interesting to match those ads with the people who placed them.
posted by TedW at 8:35 AM on July 2, 2009


Challenge: match each photo to the corresponding relationship post on Ask Mefi. I think it's clear who matches this.
posted by Mapes at 8:36 AM on July 2, 2009


And "SlappyNuts" could only be airnxtz.
posted by Mapes at 8:38 AM on July 2, 2009


Yeah, that "whom" was incredibly jarring. "Who" being used when it should be "whom"... whatever. It's common enough that it doesn't really stand out. But the reverse? Gah.
posted by vernondalhart at 8:39 AM on July 2, 2009


Wow, that girl drinking the soda has an unfortunate photo. Or a huge hand.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:47 AM on July 2, 2009


Fuck the "whom", does "photograph people in their homes that have placed a wide variety of personal advertisements" scan to anybody at all? I couldn't grok it until I saw the link.

(To save others: "photograph people who have placed a wide variety of personal ads [on Craigslist] in their homes" is what it's trying to say)
posted by fightorflight at 9:01 AM on July 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, lots of those photos were not taken in the homes of the people, but were taken other places, which was much less interesting. Adam with the "red go-t" who works at Target was the most interesting photo, IMO, and one of the only ones that actually followed the supposed premise.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:07 AM on July 2, 2009


Yeah, I was thinking it was photos of people who had a bunch of ads (hung up on the walls?) in their homes. Or maybe it was photos of people who advertise their accomplishments (trophies, diplomas, etc.) in their homes.

Good idea for a project, and a GREAT name for it, however.
posted by LordSludge at 9:10 AM on July 2, 2009


Hey Slappynuts,

Did you remember to put out the bins this morning?

- Sorry everyone, I just use the site to send messages to my girlfriend. It's cheaper than sms -
posted by Elmore at 9:43 AM on July 2, 2009


WTF -- we need Flash just for some text and images? Why has plain creative Web 2.0 HTML+CSS suddenly become some sort of pariah among website designers?
posted by crapmatic at 9:52 AM on July 2, 2009


The guy looking for a Dan to his Roseanne has about the most adorable ad and photo I've ever seen. Too bad I'm not a boy...:(
posted by genmonster at 9:53 AM on July 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


What I find brilliant about this is that he took photos and displayed them with the ads to make them art, but then the subjects come along and start posting comments trying to hook up with other subjects. It turns it all back to a classifieds/dating site.
posted by Elmore at 9:58 AM on July 2, 2009




The typological project in photography has been pursued, consciously or otherwise, since its development by August Sander circa 1900. Sander's "Man of the Twentieth Century" project is a documentation of 400 subjects and categorical ascriptions, "society women," "young socialists," et cetera. But it's the German husband and wife team, Bernd and Hilla Becher, who were arguably the most influential practitioners of "typological photography" for the entire second half of the 20th century. Ed Ruscha's photographic series (see Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963, for one of many) are a representative US counterpart.

Note the description of Andrew's project refers to Craigslist as fertile ground for finding an "alpha-to-omega range of types". I think the appeal of this approach revolves around the idea of creating knowledge via the exploration of type or perhaps, the discovery of new types. I am skeptical, however, of his stated intent - as well as his ability - to create "an exhibit that represents the human condition."

Typological photography has experienced a surge over the past 20 years or so. Try to find a current photography exhibit in any major US city without this influence. The headlining exhibit at the New York Photo Festival in May was entitled New Typologies. My sense is that Mark Andrew has tapped into this phenomenon pretty much the way a student might - with a limited sense of the cultures he is attempting to engage.
posted by xod at 10:05 AM on July 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I want to get a job at an art school teaching the class on how the most important goal in art is to create the single most fucktarded and unworkable user interface imaginable because all of my experience looking at art online has proven to me that this is a required course at all art schools in the world.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:29 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well as flash interfaces go this one wasn't too bad, except for the unintuitive, unlabelled full screen mode. I didn't even know my install of firefox could be taken over like that.
posted by Mitheral at 10:40 AM on July 2, 2009


Navelgazer,
It's all about the artist. As a viewer, you're insistence on trying to dictate how the art is viewed is frankly, intolerable, and more important wrong.

Why? Because I said so and I'm an artist.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:47 AM on July 2, 2009




The "Lost Soul Seeks Dark Angel" guy on the last page made me shriek with squicked-out delight: my hands create so much art… but I know so little of beauty… All I can create is sad and malicious pieces of rot… I am looking For the Dark Angel that can bring the Stars back into my World…

But I stopped laughing upon considering how closely Lost Soul resembles my vision, when I was a lonely little artiste of twelve or so, of some ideal Boyfriend I'd have when I was a grownup. He'd be all deep and misunderstood, an artist and a poet who tilts his head just. . . so.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 11:23 AM on July 2, 2009


Pretty interesting to match those ads with the people who placed them.

I'm the sexy couple.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:25 AM on July 2, 2009


I'm the sexy couple.

I'm kind of attracted to you.
posted by Elmore at 11:32 AM on July 2, 2009


I must be one of the lamest people in the world.
posted by fyrebelley at 12:07 PM on July 2, 2009


The "Lost Soul Seeks Dark Angel" guy on the last page made me shriek with squicked-out delight

If he had a fedora I think it would have been a little too much of a perfect match with a well-worn MeFi stereotype.

Also, a few of the people in the full set are scary. Most are just normal people. But a few are Buffalo Bill scary.
posted by GuyZero at 12:09 PM on July 2, 2009


The "Lost Soul Seeks Dark Angel" guy on the last page made me shriek with squicked-out delight

All the comments on that page are so adoring though....the man knows his demographic.
posted by availablelight at 2:00 PM on July 2, 2009


The bear cub is awesome with his guitarclock.

The bi couple, good god, how much hotness can one photograph contain?

I didn't see anyone scary there. Maybe it's just me.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:00 PM on July 2, 2009


Holy fuck I think I know blue-collar cub with Guitarclock! If he's the same person I'm thinking of, would it surprise you to know he played Eddie in his local RHPS chapter?

I too, am surprised by the lack of the real-gut-turning creepitude that cragislist can spit up. Not a whole lot of scary, so it's not a real representative sample. (I had to quit reading x seeking x craigslist listings for fun cause they kept making me depressed, none of these make me sad. Well "No uggos" but that's so tame compared to the kind of scary-crazy-horrible you can find in 3 clicks or less)

I mean, that bi-couple with the John and Oko-y photo? C'mon, how are they not characters in a John Cameron Mitchell movie?
posted by The Whelk at 2:30 PM on July 2, 2009




The couple made me wonder if I could pull off being bi, but the blue-collar cub made me wistfully wish I was gay.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:26 PM on July 2, 2009


The young good looking people who use craigslist for sex really are young and good looking. I wonder what level of fucked up craziness they possess, because this sort of thing is a zero sum game.

Trust me, with that cute bi couple you're washing up in the bathroom only to find your dog butchered all across your living room.
posted by geoff. at 5:49 PM on July 2, 2009


I am Mark Andrew - the photographer of this project. I just wanted to thank you all for your comments - good and bad, positive and negative. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed them.
posted by dancephotographer at 6:49 PM on July 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


Trust me, with that cute bi couple you're washing up in the bathroom only to find your dog butchered all across your living room.

They're both attractive -- I like his John Lennon-y gentle looks. But there's something in her eyes and the set of her jaw. She'd do it. She'd do it and laugh.

I love the humanity of this site. I note, however, that it doesn't contain a picture of one of the posters of the numerous "Ladies, I sure do love cunnilingus" ads that appear on Craigslist's m4w page, offering the expedited service with no conditions. I have always wondered what these men must look like, and my only guess is: very, very punchable.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:53 PM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the humanity of this site. I note, however, that it doesn't contain a picture of one of the posters of the numerous "Ladies, I sure do love cunnilingus" ads that appear on Craigslist's m4w page, offering the expedited service with no conditions. I have always wondered what these men must look like, and my only guess is: very, very punchable.

Me too. So Dancephotographer, did you have any of them? I love the pictures, but these people are really the gems in the rough. I want to see what the rough looks like ...I wanted a visual to "who the hell posts these posts?"


I admit, that is much harder to do.
posted by The Whelk at 7:12 PM on July 2, 2009


Okay the original site, via availablelight's link, is more representative, complete with Mas$ages, but it leaves me with the same incomplete feeling. Maybe that's the point?

And I keep wanting to know more about that Bi couple. The bias of photography and beauty I guess. The whole picture is like a question and answer.

I'm gonna shut up now.
posted by The Whelk at 7:17 PM on July 2, 2009


dancephotographer: I would love to hear about the folks who say no to being photographed. Also, how well do you get to know these people? What they would all have in common, I would guess, is that they are all reaching out, regardless of who they are and what they want most of the time, at least right now they are open to meeting strangers. Are they nervous? Excited? How often have they hit on you during the photo shoot?
posted by idiopath at 7:18 PM on July 2, 2009


And this, yeah I can say its not representative of x for x ads and such but damn if that isn't a portrait of Central NJ Bohemia, such as it is, such as I experienced it. I've said before, I think Central NJ is the weirdest place on earth, and that picture just seems to sum it up.
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on July 2, 2009


I am Mark Andrew - the photographer of this project. I just wanted to thank you all for your comments - good and bad, positive and negative. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed them.

Can you hook me up with the hot couple?

Joking, joking.

Mostly.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:32 PM on July 2, 2009


I am Mark Andrew - the photographer of this project.

No, you are now Metafilter's Own TM Mark Andrew.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:36 PM on July 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: And this, yeah I can say its not representative of x for x ads and such but damn if that isn't a portrait of Central NJ Bohemia, such as it is, such as I experienced it. I've said before, I think Central NJ is the weirdest place on earth, and that picture just seems to sum it up.

That says "Central NY," which is a pretty good distance away from Central NJ.

Central NJ is as you describe it, though.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:16 AM on July 3, 2009


It still works!


Oh one of these days I'm gonna buckle down and learn to read.
posted by The Whelk at 7:24 AM on July 3, 2009


That couple are so attractive, I'm wondering if I too may be bi.

Anyway, how did you get people to agree to being photographed? Was it a simple process? What was the take-up rate like? I'd love to do a themed portrait project myself when I upgrade my camera and I wonder how easy it is - especially with these ads being more intimate than the idea I had in mind. Also, I love the Maths photo - he isn't my type, but the portrait idea is lovely.
posted by mippy at 8:17 AM on July 3, 2009


only one home is actually shown. that disappointed me - I had clicked onto this not to see who they were but how they lived as well. the one overhead living room shot is far more interesting than any of the other ones to me because it puts the description this guy has written in a completely different context.

I find it sad to see so many overweight vs. regular folks in this gallery.
(I'm referencing the original link)
posted by krautland at 9:29 AM on July 4, 2009


Yeah, krautland, it seemed like nerve tried to pick out mostly the more conventionally attractive subjects for their gallery - they have a reputation to keep up as being a sexy website, right? And "fatties" seem to be a turnoff for most folks.
posted by idiopath at 9:59 AM on July 4, 2009


@dancephotographer -- I really love this project and hope you continue it for a while. As someone else put it, it really shows the humanity behind the people posting these ads. Amazing!
posted by bpm140 at 12:10 PM on July 4, 2009


@fightorflight -- this is the first time (I think) in sixteen years of Internet usage that I've ever corrected grammar, but if you're going to call someone out for writing an unclear sentence, your correction better be air-fucking-tight.

"photograph people who have placed a wide variety of personal ads [on Craigslist] in their homes" makes it sound like people are hanging craigslist ads on their walls.

I think that "photograph in their homes people who have placed a wide variety of personal ads on Craigslist" is least confusing. But I'm prepared for the rest of MeFi to now correct me for my own asshattery.
posted by bpm140 at 12:12 PM on July 4, 2009


@Mark Andrew: your series is truly great, yet I would have liked to see these people in their environments. I want to know how that person claiming to be a great overall catch lives. what does that lazy-looking dude's living room look like? the submissive girls desk? there is so much more potential in this series that you could tap into. you could help us put their craiglist posts into even more context.

seriously, don't stop.
posted by krautland at 9:48 AM on July 5, 2009


I've finally been going through the original site.

All I have to say is: goddamn.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:10 PM on July 5, 2009


ok. to answer some of your questions - most of these people were photographed in their homes or a place they chose. they have nothing in common other than that they agreed to allow me to photograph them. some were pretty "weird" but i only feared for my safety once. the bi-sexual couple agreed to be photographed nude without showing their faces but after i worked with them for a while they felt comfortable doing a "tasteful" nude with their faces exposed.

it was somewhat difficult finding people to participate that also intrigued me.
posted by dancephotographer at 2:59 PM on July 5, 2009


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