The Cruel World of America's Abandoned Chairs
You Can Help Tell Their Stories
Found in back alleys and gritty sidewalks all over America, these chairs live out their last days, forsaken by their owners and forgotten by society. Until now.
A picture and a few words can bring their inner lives to light. Thanks to you, their humanity can live on--and so can yours.
How to Participate
- Find an abandoned, abused, forgotten, or oddly-placed chair somewhere in the United States
- Photograph the chair to emphasize the incongruity of its context: that is, its bizarre location, the strangeness of the objects around it, its peculiar match with its setting or background, etc.
- As you’re taking the photograph, consider ways that you might use choices of background, distance, camera angle, lighting, framing, etc. to suggest a human situation or emotion
- Take several different shots to give you various options
- Choose your most suggestive shot.
- Write a 1-5 word caption for that image that implies--rather than simply explaining or naming--that human situation or emotion.
- Using some software, scale and crop the image to make the image 380 pixels by 380 pixels square, and to emphasize the emotion you want to convey.
- Using software, compose chair image in the right half of a white page that is 750 pixels wide and 398 pixels tall, with a thin, even margin at the top, right, and bottom.
- Centered in the blank space on the left side of the page, compose your caption: all caps; Arial Black, 14-point font; three-quarters of the way down the page.
- Beneath the caption--aligned with it and justified left--compose the location and date of the photograph in 9-point Arial font, capitalizing only proper names and months.
- Save and submit the image as a .jpg. by email.
Also participate via Twitter at #sadchairsUMD
Copyright 2016, This page was completed as part of an assignment for WRIT 4250, New Media Writing at the University of Minnesota Duluth in Spring 2016. Inspiration and the sad chairs featured above come from Bill Keaggy's book 50 Sad Chairs.