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Persona
August 16, 2010 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Persona. Jason Travis creates diptychs of people and the stuff in their bags.
posted by chunking express (38 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love how in so many of these there's just this one weird object that doesn't totally fit in: old-ass Gameboy with no cartridges, large knife, black gloves, skull sunglasses, micrometer (?), tape measure, portable scale (?), wrench,
posted by griphus at 12:17 PM on August 16, 2010


I haven't looked through all of them, but what strikes me is the relative lack of cigarettes, and the abundance of cigarette-replacements.

old-ass Gameboy with no cartridges

I played Pokemon for the first and last time nearly every day in the summer of '06... every time I had a nicotine craving, I would instead fire up my GBA and play an old Pokemon Red cart. If it were less deleterious to my social life, or more fun, I might be a non-smoking adult Pokemon addict today.
posted by maus at 12:26 PM on August 16, 2010


I think these are neat, but I can't help but wonder if some of the subjects had time to stage their bags first.

My purse has a copy of A Farewell to Arms in it and also a vintage Walkman a cassette tape containing the greatest hits of John Denver that I artfully doodled all over. And an expired Polaroid cartridge. [Translation: my car keys, my phone, my wallet, a bunch of grocery store receipts, a Chinese takeout menu someone stuck under my windshield wipers and a travel pack of Kleenexes]
posted by katillathehun at 12:33 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is very cool. Now I know how I"m going to spend my afternoon.

large knife

I carry a knife like that, too. Though, you know, closed.
posted by alynnk at 12:34 PM on August 16, 2010


Is that a strip of bacon?
posted by zer0render at 12:34 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Equate personal lubricant?
posted by UrbanEye at 12:35 PM on August 16, 2010


Wow, I don't have that much crap in my *car*, and my car's a fuckin' mess.

It's interesting that hipsterdom is supposedly an alternative to mainstream, but there's more stuff in their modern fetish pouches than any mainstream-type. A harmonica? that's horribly twee.

(A: money clip, skeletool, phone, keys.)
posted by notsnot at 12:35 PM on August 16, 2010


I am going to attribute both of these quotes to Spider Robinson, and I am going to paraphrase as well, so if he didn't say them (or I get them wrong) it's because I am too lazy to look them up. The first: "A box of books is invariably more interesting than its owner," and the second: "You can't tell a lot about a man by the books he owns, but I can tell you if I'd let him marry my daughter."

That's kind of how I feel about these. I can tell you at a glance if I'd want to spend any time with any of these people. Mostly, I think, who carries that much stuff? and same world, different planets.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:37 PM on August 16, 2010


Never be without your vegetable boullion.
posted by sanko at 12:39 PM on August 16, 2010


It's interesting that hipsterdom is supposedly an alternative to mainstream, but there's more stuff in their modern fetish pouches than any mainstream-type. A harmonica? that's horribly twee.

I know plenty of hipstery types who don't carry tons of crap around. Keep in mind that this is a series of photos of people who have crap in their bags - and, for that matter, who carry bags at all. I know one mainstream-type who carries an entire other bag in her bag.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:47 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


stormtrooper,
condom, dog collar, and chess king,
a hot dog and a hamburger in love,
D24 Dart Gun,
laser-equipped antelopes,
Magic cards!,
posted by UrbanEye at 12:49 PM on August 16, 2010


Well, that didn't work as planned...
posted by UrbanEye at 12:51 PM on August 16, 2010


Yep. Well, this is weird. At least 50% of these people are my friends from ATL.
posted by functionequalsform at 12:56 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


A harmonica? that's horribly twee.
Ever tried walking around with a banjo in your purse?
posted by sanko at 12:57 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of this.
posted by Gator at 12:59 PM on August 16, 2010


Attractive people, but incredibly boring. Also slightly depressing in a non-specific way.

Reminds me of this.

Yeah, I liked those a lot better.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:04 PM on August 16, 2010


Why is young Paul McCartney in this photoset.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:04 PM on August 16, 2010


Also, where is the weed? I saw nary a joint (but plenty of lighters lacking cigarettes).
posted by mrgrimm at 1:05 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


My bag contains two sketchbooks, three chapsticks, about five pounds of crumpled reciepts and other paper I haven't tossed, and a smushed ancient pack of gum that I think I'm going to throw away right now. I guess I should be ashamed, but I kinda want this guy to take a picture of me and my giant pile of trash.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:20 PM on August 16, 2010


These appear to be carefully selected items, and not what people typically carry around every day. The photos - both the portraits and the items - are kind of meh. It's an interesting concept that could have been better executed.
posted by rocket88 at 1:25 PM on August 16, 2010


Persona. Jason Travis creates diptychs of people beautiful women and/or hipsters and the stuff in their bags.
posted by cmoj at 1:35 PM on August 16, 2010


These certainly seem pre-selected, which seems as useful as judging someone's reading preferences by studying their coffee table books. Maybe the way the objects are arranged and any lint is removed adds to that effect.

Still interesting to look at!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:37 PM on August 16, 2010


It's interesting that hipsterdom is supposedly an alternative to mainstream, but there's more stuff in their modern fetish pouches than any mainstream-type. A harmonica? that's horribly twee.

Also: Who ever claimed that Hipsterism was minimalist? Hipsters love analog formats and collect all manner of physical things. Physical books, big ironic tape players... If you asked me, sight unseen, whether a randomly-selected hipster or his/her 'mainstream' equivalent has more stuff in their bag, I'd guess at the hipster every time.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:54 PM on August 16, 2010


What the fuck is up with the RAW BACON????
posted by Splunge at 1:59 PM on August 16, 2010


I love how in so many of these there's just this one weird object that doesn't totally fit in: old-ass Gameboy with no cartridges, large knife, black gloves, skull sunglasses, micrometer (?), tape measure, portable scale (?), wrench,

Wrench dude is clearly a bicyclist - check out the tyre pump (on the right) and the U-lock (around the sales book).
posted by djgh at 2:15 PM on August 16, 2010


> RAW BACON????

Personal lubricant.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:17 PM on August 16, 2010


..... I guess.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:17 PM on August 16, 2010


I'm glad I didn't run into this guy, because my bag is full of empty gum wrappers.

Also: for real, candle dude? That is hardcore dedication to ambient lighting.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 2:26 PM on August 16, 2010


What the fuck is up with the RAW BACON????

Cooked bacon crumbles too much when it hits phones and such.
posted by dobbs at 2:28 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: for real, candle dude? That is hardcore dedication to ambient lighting.

Candle looks stolen from a chain Mexican/Italian restaurant.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:52 PM on August 16, 2010


Unedited, here's everything that was inside my bag just now. Pretty typical, except I went to the dentist this afternoon: I don't usually travel with toothpaste & floss. Also, the piece of Ikea Lack shelving was not inside.
posted by Flashman at 3:42 PM on August 16, 2010


a) I kind of wish there were more, I don't know...different people? It'd make for it to be a bit more interesting at least. Geez, another person with retro cateyed sunglasses/black plastic rimmed glasses. Where's the Fixodent and tubes of hemorrhoid creams?

b) Holy shit these bags are neat. If this person chose me (though going back to point a, they probably wouldn't have chosen to shoot me and my bag contents), it'd literally be like the neatly arranged squares of my wallet, planner, passport, some pens, a notebook, pack of cigs...then a huge and tangled wad of about 6-10 crumpled receipts and lotto tickets and napkins I dab my greasy ass face with throughout the day, a small mountain of an assortment of coins, and loose tobacco sprinkled over everything, sticking to the smear of lipstick from a tube I left unclosed.
posted by kkokkodalk at 4:58 PM on August 16, 2010


The scanner stuff was more interesting. This is all a little elegantly staged and homogeneous for me.
posted by mygothlaundry at 5:51 PM on August 16, 2010


I am surprised at the lack of (1) weed and especially (2) feminine products, which really makes me think the bags were "curated".

Also, guy likes his sandwiches.

(Full disclosure, although I carry about 1/3 of that now.)
posted by mendel at 5:56 PM on August 16, 2010


I'm trying to figure out why the scanner pictures are more compelling, because presumably all that stuff was self curated as well. Maybe it is the juxtaposition of people's smushed faces next to their bits and bobs, making it seem both more intimate and compositionally interesting.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:29 PM on August 16, 2010


Man, what a strange coincidence. I couldn't sleep last night and stayed up looking through this set. Hell, the tab is still open. Very interesting stuff.
posted by gc at 6:34 PM on August 16, 2010


I really hope they are pre-sorted. I have waaayyy more crumbled receipts, illegible shopping lists, and cellophane from cigarette packs.
posted by troublewithwolves at 6:57 PM on August 16, 2010


It's interesting that hipsterdom

See, I thought this started as a nerd geek thing, along the lines of "hey, check out how many wi-fi enabled devices I carry with me at all times!" and "This is my GTD-hacked Moleskine!"

As for different sorts of people:
Lady with a kid
Classy-looking businessy guy
A grandmother
A gentleman's apparel store owner

I'm sure there's a few more I missed.

And one last thing: Looking for those pictures, I found this one, and I love it.
posted by gc at 6:59 PM on August 16, 2010


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