Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 18, 2012.

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Documenting America from the 4th of July in Independence, CA to Inauguration Day in Washington DC...and (mostly) everything in between.

The Idea

In early 2011, I, like many Americans, felt that the USA was going through a disturbing period--the people were polarized, the civil discourse was cynical and angry, the government was dysfunctional and the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession. I felt it was important to document this difficult period in our history, so I began driving throughout the country, taking pictures without a particular goal in mind other than to capture America and Americans as I saw them. 

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Many months and over 40,000 miles later (as of this writing), and counting, I am in the thick of it. “America: E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One)” is a photographic project looking at life in the United States during a difficult time in our history. The project unofficially kicked-off on Independence Day, 2011 in Independence, California and will end Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The latin phrase “e pluribus unum” means “out of many, one,” and has been a de facto motto for the United States since its inception in 1776. In choosing it as the working title for this project, I hope to show the vast geographic, ethnic, and economic diversity of Americans, while never forgetting that out of the many we are still one--each of us an American.

The Pitch

Until this point this entire project has been self-funded--I didn’t want to be influenced by corporate sponsors and I didn’t want to crowd finance without having work to show. I am asking for your help to finish the project. Your donations will go towards accommodations, fuel costs, and general living expenses. I am very passionate about this project and deeply appreciate your generosity towards completing what I hope will be an enduring documentation of a brief moment in America’s history.

Links

Website: www.semetko.com

Blog: http://semetko.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/craig.semetko

Twitter: @semetko

A video by Konstantin Adenauer of me shooting in Cologne, Germany and speaking about UNPOSED and Leica cameras.

The team at Digital Silver Imaging, who will produce the silver gelatin prints for the $900 reward: http://www.digitalsilverimaging.com

Choices for $250, $395, $750, $900, $3000 and $5000 rewards:

Lone Pine, California, 2011. From America project.
Lone Pine, California, 2011. From America project.
Cortez, Colorado, 2012. From America project.
Cortez, Colorado, 2012. From America project.
Independence, California, Independence Day, 2011. From America project.
Independence, California, Independence Day, 2011. From America project.
Durango, Colorado, 2012.. From America project
Durango, Colorado, 2012.. From America project
Chicago, Illinois, 2011. From America project.
Chicago, Illinois, 2011. From America project.
Weeki-Wachee, Florida, 2011. From America project.
Weeki-Wachee, Florida, 2011. From America project.
Detroit, Michigan, 2012. From America project.
Detroit, Michigan, 2012. From America project.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2011. From America project.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2011. From America project.
Telluride, Colorado, 2012. From America project.
Telluride, Colorado, 2012. From America project.
Chain of Lakes, Illinois, 2012. From America project.
Chain of Lakes, Illinois, 2012. From America project.

Images may or may not be in the final edit of America: E Pluribus Unum.

Choices for the $300, $395, $750, and $5000 reward:

San Francisco, California, 2005. From UNPOSED.
San Francisco, California, 2005. From UNPOSED.
Hollywood, California, 2001. From UNPOSED.
Hollywood, California, 2001. From UNPOSED.
Louvre Museum, Paris, France, 2001. From UNPOSED.
Louvre Museum, Paris, France, 2001. From UNPOSED.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2001. From UNPOSED.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2001. From UNPOSED.
Hanoi, Vietnam, 2010. From UNPOSED.
Hanoi, Vietnam, 2010. From UNPOSED.
Paris, France, 2003. From UNPOSED.
Paris, France, 2003. From UNPOSED.
Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2005. From UNPOSED.
Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2005. From UNPOSED.
Edinburgh, Scotland, 2005. From UNPOSED.
Edinburgh, Scotland, 2005. From UNPOSED.
Luang Prabang, Laos, 2007. From UNPOSED.
Luang Prabang, Laos, 2007. From UNPOSED.
Central Park, New York City, 2009. From UNPOSED.
Central Park, New York City, 2009. From UNPOSED.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Frankly, the biggest challenge of this project is simply juggling it with the rest of my life while on the road. Time and repetition over many months, however, have helped me develop an organized routine. As with most photographers, my main source of anxiety is wondering when the next picture will present itself.

Fulfillment of the project is less of a challenge, as the reward prints are chosen from images that already exist. If you make a pledge to the project, what you see is what you will get--there is no danger of a reward not being produced. I will need to come off the road for a week or so to fulfill rewards, but I give my word that you will receive what you pledged for in a timely manner. I have stated that the rewards will be sent in December, and I am fully committed to getting the rewards to people in that time frame--possibly sooner.

Images from this project are going to be exhibited at the Leica Store in Washington, DC during FotoDC in November, where I will also be delivering a lecture on the project. I am also lining up exhibitions for next year and expect to have the work published as a book. With your support and generosity, I will see this project through to its culmination on January 20th, 2013--Inauguration Day.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    4 backers

    Reward 1: You'll receive a personalized email thanking you for supporting the project, PLUS a low resolution jpeg from the project--the perfect wallpaper for your computer! Thanks!

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    5 backers

    Reward 2: You'll receive reward #1, PLUS your name will appear on a list of patrons at every exhibition of the project for the next 3 years.

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    32 backers

    Reward 3: You'll receive rewards #1 and #2, PLUS an open edition 4x6 print from the project with an "Image By Craig Semetko" stamp on the back, PLUS you'll receive exclusive emails from me on the road for the duration of the project. (International buyers please add $3)

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    32 backers

    Reward 4: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, and #3, PLUS a signed, open edition 5x7 archival pigment print from the project with my thoughts about the picture handwritten on the back. (International buyers please add $5)

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    35 backers

    Reward 5: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3, and #4, PLUS a personalized, signed copy of the book UNPOSED, published by teNeues with the foreword by Elliott Erwitt. (International buyers please add $15)

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    5 backers

    Reward 6: A custom tin box filled with a selection of 15 signed, open edition 4x6 archival pigment prints from the project inside...a perfect holiday gift! You'll also receive rewards #1 and #2 plus exclusive emails from the road for the duration of the project. (International buyers please add $12)

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    21 backers

    Reward 7: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3 and #4, PLUS a signed, open edition, 12x16 archival pigment print from the project. This open edition print size is offered here exclusively. Choose from the 10 images on the left. PLUS, exclusive email updates from the road.(International buyers please add $15)

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    7 backers Limited (93 left of 100)

    Reward 8: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3 and #4, PLUS a limited edition UNPOSED and print combination! Each print/book combination is limited to 10 pieces. The print is a signed, 8x10 archival print numbered between 1 and 10 and comes inside an accompanying numbered and signed copy of UNPOSED. Choose your print from the 10 images on the left. (International buyers please add $15)

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    Reward 9: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3, and #4, PLUS a signed, 12x16 archival pigment print from either the America: E Pluribus Unum project or UNPOSED! This open edition print size is offered here exclusively. Choose from the 20 images on the left. (International buyers please add $20)

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    Reward 10: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5, PLUS two signed, 12x16 archival pigment prints from either the America:E Pluribus Unun project or UNPOSED! This open edition print size is offered here exclusively. Choose from the 20 images on the left. (International buyers please add $20)

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Reward 11: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5, PLUS one signed, limited edition, 16x20 archival SILVER GELATIN print from the America: E Pluribus Unum project. These silver prints are created by Eric Luden and his team at Digital Silver Imaging. Choose from the 10 images on the left. (International buyers please add $25)

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    0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)

    Reward 12: At Home With Craig! Come to sunny Los Angeles over a weekend in February--the cruelest month--unless you're in California! Using my apartment as a base, you, me, and up to three others will go over your portfolio on Friday night, shoot in the streets together Saturday, and go over what we shot Sunday. Saturday night dinner is on me! And you'll leave with a signed, limited edition 11x14 archival print from the project! Also includes rewards #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5. Limited to 4 people on each of two separate weekends. Airfare and accommodations not included.

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    Reward 13: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5, PLUS a portfolio of 4 signed, limited edition 20x24 archival pigment prints from the America: E Pluribus Unum project, Choose from the 10 images on the left. (International buyers please add $35)

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    Reward 14: You'll receive rewards #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 and #7, PLUS a portfolio of 5 signed, limited edition 20x24 OR 20x30 archival pigment prints from the America: E Pluribus Unum project OR from UNPOSED! You choose your 5 favorites from the 20 images on the left. (International shipping included)

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    Reward 15: I promise to have your name tattooed someplace on my body. Pledges also accepted to keep the tattoo option off the table:) If you feel a burning urge to pledge $10,000, contact me, we'll work something out.

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Funding period

- (37 days)