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Everyday Celebrities

By Rhizome

In an age of celebutante endorsements and reality television, one thing is clear: some people get to be famous simply for being famous, while other more talented or interesting people are destined to maintain a lower profile. Artist Harrell Fletcher's new web-based project, Some People, addresses this scenario. Like his previous online collaboration with artist Miranda July, entitled Learning To Love You More, this site offers internet users of all backgrounds and skillsets the opportunity to contribute personal content to the site--content which will then be exhibited in a variety of online and offline contexts. The focus of Some People is on the untold stories of heretofore undiscovered personalities. Fletcher encourages users to "identify someone that you find engaging and compelling, a person that you would like to get to know, or know better, someone who does something interesting with their life but who is not well known--at least not outside of their own community," and offers instructions for creating and uploading documentary videos about these people. The site's functionality (which is the product of collaboration with designer Yuri Ono and programmer Christopher Berry) and Fletcher's statements shoot to keep an open mind about what constitutes a "documentary" and the types of footage, images, or sounds that can be included. While encouraging a broad approach, Fletcher also dissuades documentarians from crafting an homage instead of a more literal image of their chosen person. Site visitors can search for the artists and their subjects by name, upload dates, or tags. The project has only been up a few weeks and already tags include "casinos," "coke dealer," "eagle scout," and, of course, "stars"! - Marisa Olson

Image Credit: Chris and Pat Christopher from Some People, 2008

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