The Gates: An Experiment in Collective Memory


The Institute for the Future of the Book has created The Gates: an experiment in collective memory, with Flickr providing the venue for collecting and tagging of the photos. There are over 7,000 photographs of the gates on Flickr to date — undoubtedly one of the most photographed works of art of all time (much more than even cloud gate, where people uploaded photos in protest of the ban on photographing the work!)

Now that the Gates are gone, we begin the process of remembering them. But it is not just the objects themselves that we recall. It is what happened while they were here: the conversations, the crowds, the impromptu visits, the unexpected snow, the long ambling walks, and the various artifacts – photographs, sketches, films, swatches of fabric – that we amassed. Memories often begin with an image, and the Gates project is almost certainly among the most photographed works of art in history. So it is with images that we will begin.

To participate, tag your photo of the Gates with “gatesmemory”, and they will be collected alongside all the other submissions. Also visit the Gates Memory Blog for more discussion about how the photos might be presented.