Camerica: An American Video Experiment

a camera in a box

the box has a camera in it

When I first heard about Camerica, I remember thinking “that’s a great way to lose $300”. Given time to think about it, however, I am inclined to think it is a really good idea.  Imagine a game of exquisite corpse played by strangers with a camera. The subject of this haphazard documentary is America and the lives of the people in it. assuming no one steals the camera, what it will be is a slice of America told through amateur film makers all over the country. Its possible that this will reveal a part of America that cannot afford camcorders or have not had the means to document their lives through the use of a shared and communal video camera. Will it be another case of the tragedy of the commons where the free video camera is stolen, or will people take advantage of the opportunity this represents?

The way it works is people register to have the camera sent to them, and low and behold one day the camera arrives at their door step waiting for them to film something in their life. Then this person sends or logs their footage through the internet to the organizers of the project. Once they have done this, (and this is where it gets dicey), the person receives a physical address to send the camera to next. The cycle repeats. Ideally the camera will make it all the way from LA to NYC, chronicling the lives of the people in between. The editor lives in LA and will compile the footage into a film using nothing but the delivered footage using Camerica’s camera.
No matter what happens it’s still a great way to lose $300, but lets hope the camera makes it all the way. Considering what could be made from all this, its well worth the risk.
If you feel like getting involved contact the organizers through this link: Camerica– and register to have the camera sent to you next.

-Alex F

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