Touching Strangers

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Trevor

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No, this isn't about rubbing up against people on the subway. I came across the link to this story on another blog I read and I thought it was not only compelling photography, but also an interesting interview. Go read the interview and look at the guy's website if you're so inclined. The interview has some of the best photos, but I think they're all pretty neat.

The interview:

A Conversation with Richard Renaldi about 'Touching Strangers' (Conscientious)

Link to the photographer's site aimed at all of the photos he's put up from this project:

Renaldi - Photographs

Now that you've at least skimmed the interview (if you didn't, go back and do so or give up on the thread altogether), would you pose for such a photo? He's going to pick who you pose with, and how. We're presuming the guy doing the picture taking looks like he's legit and has a copy of his book handy, etc. I'd find this a hard sell, personally. Having seen his site, I get it now and if I had turned him down, I'd wish I hadn't, even though I generally don't like having my picture taken.
 

starshine

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Thats really interesting, and I'd love to see more. It's funny because in some pictures you'd never know the difference between them and people who have known eachother for years, and other photos you can just see the tension.
 

Pojo

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I think I could do that if I was asked, although I wouldn't know for sure until I was faced with that
 

MrSiltStrider

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I'd have turned him down, I'm just not comfortable with physical contact.
 

Charlie

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I think I would have accepted, although I probably would have been a little hesitant. I'm sure he could have sold it to me though if he explained a little about what he was doing.

I'm not really a touchy-feely person, even with people I know, so with strangers I'd be uncomfortable. But if it's for the sake of art, and I knew the other person would be uncomfortable too (and knows that I am), then I wouldn't mind.
 

Verscha

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I wouldn't have a problem with it. I'm cool with physical contact. Nothing beats a hug... even off a complete stranger, in this case!
 

Trevor

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Thats really interesting, and I'd love to see more. It's funny because in some pictures you'd never know the difference between them and people who have known eachother for years, and other photos you can just see the tension.
Some of my photos with people I've known for years have the same kind of tension in them ;)

I thought this was a great project, both as social science experiment and art that results, but even his photos of people in bus stations (linked in the interview) were compelling to me.
 

Martin

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Without knowing what I know now, I probably would have stayed and looked and I might have changed my mind then but seeing this I'd do it.
 

Chillhouse

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I don't really like any of those photos. They don't seem to have any kind of artistic quality to them, and really, all I see is people posing and touching eachother.

I probably wouldn't pose. I'm not a stickler for touching people or anything, and I wouldn't be uncomfortable with hugging a complete stranger. But there's this girl who sits beside me in English class who's constantly touching me and invading my desk. Her books always seem to make there way over to my desk. She's really dull, and I don't think she realizes what she's doing. This same girl makes very loud sighs and yawns throughout the class too without realizing it.
 

mizzycub

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Not for me, I'm afraid. I am comfortable with a hug (from someone I am close with), or not touching at all. That middle ground just makes me so physically uncomfortable. I just can't deal with it. A very interesting idea, and it isn't touching a stranger that means I wouldn't do it - it is just the touching in general. I wouldn't want to take a photo like that with someone I know.

Also, I dislike photos in general, and not that long ago I would refuse to be in them at all. So not something I would do. A fantastic idea though.
 
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No, this isn't about rubbing up against people on the subway.
Blast! And here I was thinking we could share tactics and strategies for not getting busted! :smile1:

...


But I think this is amazing photography! I'm not much of an art buff, despite enjoying galleries, culture and theatrics, but I'm genuinely overwhelmed by the images in this series with feelings of awe and inner-warmth that can only be aroused by the most emotive of all unfeigned motifs. These images level-out what is the most unique and complex ideal about our entire society and culture - the condition of being human; that despite the foul engagement between regional divergences and globalisation, above everything else we all, fundamentally, share one thing in common. It's certainly a notable feat when you can capture both the most intricate yet most essential of constructs in a single image. The contrasts drawn within these pictures is just mind-blowing to me.

Conceptually, this series could perhaps be considered a reflection of one of the most truest and sincerest forms of intimacy that a person can have with someone else. If we aren't able to share a special moment with someone we know nothing about, then who can we share ourselves with? It spreads the ideal of comfort within ourselves, trust within others and that we all have the ability to recognise & respect the humanity & consciousness within all people. What's absolutely compelling to me about these images is that they are complete strangers - neither knows what sort of life the other has had. I've always found it inspiring how two people from completely different backgrounds, having lived unparalleled lives can cross-paths and partake in something they both can attune to. At least to me it really puts into perspective just how non-coincidental this universe of ours may very well be.

As for myself, I'd absolutely love to participate within this series. Keep in mind, I'm a type of person who if I get along well with someone, I often place a hand on their shoulder as I laugh, or tap them when I want their attention. I'm usually not a very touchy-feely person, but I won't digress that showing some emotion in that regard can go a very long way. If anything, if I were to partake in this project, I'd probably offer the other person/people if they'd like to share a coffee or lunch afterward, even if we never saw each other again after that.
 
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Yea, I'd do it. It seems interesting, especially since the view of the pictures meaning would change between each person that looks at it.
 
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I think that I would of prolly agreed to do it, cause it would be interesting. Thats a pretty cool idea. Like someone said, some look pretty non chalant, but others, you can see the tension... And like the article said, in todays societal standards, it is prolly pretty hard to find people to do it.
 

avery

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it would have definitely made me uncomfortable, but i would have agreed to do it if i wasn't in a hurry or wanting to be alone that day. looking at the photos almost makes me want to do it, just to experience that discomfort. it's an interesting project in that the end result is only the documentation. the REAL art project was putting people in that awkward position.
 

BluTack

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Most of them look afriad. Some look like where to put thier hands.
 

BabyMullet

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I would love to do such a photo shoot, and then hopefully becomes friends with said person because that would create an awesome 'this is where I meet my friend' story.
 
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