The disposable memory project is a worldwide photography project in which the founder and curator Mathew Knight has been leaving disposable cameras around the world since April 2008 in the hope that people will pick them up, use them and pass them on, then return them home so that he can share their journeys and their stories on the website. So far there have been 447 cameras released in 73 different countries; 31 have been returned, 106 have been reported as found and 228 are yet to be discovered. The cameras are ‘released’ at various locations in a plastic bag with a unique code and the following instructions:
Hello, thanks for picking me up! I’m part of a global photography project. Take a few photos and then pass me on. Then visit http://disposablememoryproject.org to find out what to do next
Then when the finders visit the website they are asked to get in touch to report where and when the camera was found, if possible with a digital image of the camera or where they found it. This begins the camera’s story. After taking some images and passing them on the person who completes the film is asked to arrange for the camera to be collected so that the project can develop them and post the images on their website. The images are uploaded under the unique camera code and the people who took the photos are invited to comment or email in with further information about the photo they took. Anyone who reported having passed a camera on and requests to be kept up to date about it’s whereabouts is also contacted by the project.
Members of the public who wish to extend this project are encouraged to do so by emailing disposable memory project head quarters for a unique code and leaving their own camera packs to be found with standardised instructions for someone else to find.
Anyone can view the collection of images on the website. There are family shots, action shots, self-portraits, special occasions, landscapes and even someone’s honeymoon photos. It’s interesting to see another project centred around disposable cameras and the way people enjoy using them to tell their own personal stories.