fbpx Everyone's Photos Any License (532 of 1,190,505 Full Moons on Flickr, 2015) | George Eastman Museum

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Everyone's Photos Any License (532 of 1,190,505 Full Moons on Flickr, 2015)

July 20, 2019–January 5, 2020, Potter Peristyle

Operating at the intersection of photography and the internet, Penelope Umbrico (American, b. 1957) creates art that taps into humanity’s perpetual fascination with familiar, even cliché, subjects. Her Everyone's Photos Any License, for example, takes images of the full moon posted to Flickr as its starting point.

Umbrico contacted individuals who posted their moon pictures to Flickr with a Rights Reserved license, requesting permission to include their images in this work. If a photographer denied her request, she selected replacements licensed for Creative Commons use.

The Eastman Museum installation of Everyone's Photos Any License consists of 532 of the 1,190,505 photographs she found, along with a diagram and key providing relevant information about each photograph (photographer, description, terms of use license, and file data format).

As a sight common to all inhabitants of Earth, the moon is easily photographable by anyone with a decent camera, yet numerous proprietary claims to multiple similar images of it exist. This friction between public and private speaks volumes about the state of photography in the digital age—the driving force of Umbrico’s creative practice.