In September 2017 I was very proud to show a decade's worth of photos at Soundproof's 20th anniversary party. I set up an installation in two parts: a slideshow and a set of physical prints,
I began going to Soundproof in 2002. I first took a camera to one of the parties in the summer of 2007, and in 2008 I asked the crew if I could begin a behind-the-scenes photography project about Soundproof. Since since then I've photographed parties, setups, teardowns, meetings, ticket points, prop construction, DJ practices, and a lot of hugging.
The first part of the installation was a looping slideshow of 479 photos in random order. I think the randomness keeps it engaging — you never know what's coming next. And the randomness also found interesting pairings between the photos that I never would have seen otherwise. Most importantly, I think that the randomness reflects my view of Soundproof as a timeless constant with no beginning and no end. A photo from 2007 can be beside one from 2017 and it's hard to tell which one came first.
We set up the screen by the beach behind the DJs, near some logs where people could sit comfortably. The slideshow was powered by a digital projector and a Raspberry Pi computer which were placed under a tent that I had to keep lowering to protect them from the weather as the wind and rain got stronger and stronger thoughout the night.
I hope the photos convey the love, excitement, bonding, contentment, and happiness that I feel when I'm at a party.
Here the slideshow is presented with a special version of the set from M'Belle that she played at the party.
The physical photos and their captions:
The second part of the installation was 10 physical photos that we set up around the camping area. The photos were laminated and stapled to large white boards and surrounded with fairy lights to make them visible at night.
With this part of the installation I wanted to show my view of Soundproof's history: how it's grown, old venues, special moments, and remembering one of the founders who passed away a decade earlier.
I added captions to fill in details that couldn't be conveyed in the images alone. With one particular photo I included a booklet containing the text of a wonderful speech given 5 years earlier.
Thank you to everyone in the Soundproof crew for letting me into your lives to take photos and for letting me be a part of this milestone. It was fun running around setting things up rather than taking photos for once. And thank you for the help before the party buying materials and getting things set up at the site.
And to both the crew and everyone who's ever had me point my camera at you: thank you. I know it's not always obvious why I'm taking some photos, and I'm happy to respect people's wishes about not being photographed, but hopefully this gives a better idea of what I'm trying to do.