A million photographs


There’s an image on the right side of this page that’s taken by a little webcam in my office that uploads a photo every 30 seconds. At the end of the day I sometimes leave it pointed toward the door to the hallway, and sometimes I point it out the window. Today I aimed it in a different direction and got this image.

If I’ve done the math correctly, that’s 2,880 images every day. One million plus every year (is it really a new photograph if nothing has changed?). The daytime images aren’t all that interesting but the ones taken when the office is empty sometimes are. Maybe it’s the idea of the photo composing itself.

I’ve had the Office-cam for years and, frankly, I’m surprised nobody has gone into my office at night and… had some fun. The obvious thing would be to moon me (and the world). But wouldn’t it be more fun to create little tableaux? Maybe a solitary figure standing in the parking lot, in the rain… looking directly up at the camera. Or close-up of someone’s eye. Or a page from a book.

And knowing the photo would only exist for 30 seconds, when the next photo takes it’s place. It would really only exist if someone, somewhere, saw it and decided to save it within that half-minute.

I have this fantasy of some guy serving a life sentence. In his cell 23 hours a day. No TV, no radio, no books or magazines… just a computer that can only do one thing. Show the images from my webcam.

What sort of story would he construct from these images. Year after year, some aging white guy in some office somewhere. People walking past the open doorway, sometimes coming in to talk. About something he’ll never know. Would he wonder about my moods from my facial expressions? Would he feel as though he knows me after years of watching me, hour after hour?

And suppose –somehow– I was made aware he existed. And my webcam was his only window on the world. Would I behave differently? Perhaps lure some cute co-workers in for a chat, to brighten his day?

As silly as this sounds, I really don’t know that this is not happening. Hmm.

Well. Tomorrow is Fez Friday. He always enjoys Fez Friday.

One thought on “A million photographs

  1. Does your…(ahem)…’friend’ have a name?
    Maybe his name is Stu…(short for Stuart).
    While Tom Hanks had “Wilson” in Castaway, you have “Stu in prison”…

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