With images of fireworks, stick and pokes, young lust, and a guy who decided to shake the hand of 27 strangers, Ryan Biegen’s project, Disposable Summer, exposes an honest, memoir-like, catalog of youth. His project started with the documentation of his own travels using throw away cameras, eventually leading him to an idea for a larger project that would culminate in an exposé of the lives of 25, young, Brooklyn based artists. He states:
“I like the simplicity and the well, disposable aspect of the cameras. They’re breakable, recycled things, often with inaccurate viewfinders, skewed lenses, light leaks etc. Most of the time what you think will be a good shot ends up awful, and what you think will be awful, ends up as magic. Disposable cameras have a funny way of doing that; their quirky nature lends to unexpected, often unintended, results.”
Despite the diaristic nature of the work, the images seem to blur the line between art and documentation. The camera’s imperfections create a unspecific sensibility of timelessness; they act as delicate, washed out montages of ephemeral adolescence. The physical vulnerability of the film allows the combination of light and chance to guide each image into having it’s own version of reality.
A large part of the projects charm, is that the images, even within the fantastical realm of the distortion, are indeed replications of the genuine. Without the falsified nature of social media platforms, crops, filters, or hashtags, they expose the artist’s summer the way they truly happened. They have a simplicity that results in a euphoric sense of freedom — unaffected by the world outside of the specific moment. They have a true type of raw energy. The type that only ever exists in the summer.