Hi. Thanks for visiting the Kickstarter that we hope will fund an updated and much more interactive and user-friendly website for the Portland Grid Project, an enormous and unprecedented photographic portrait of Portland, Oregon.
So what's the Portland Grid Project? Way back in October 1995, Portland-based photographer Christopher Rauschenberg took a pair of scissors to a standard map of the city and cut it up into 98 pieces, following the map's grid lines. Each square is roughly a square mile. Chris then invited a small group of local photographers, using a variety of cameras, films, formats, and processes, to all photograph a randomly selected square each month.
Here's a video of Chris elaborating more on the project:
So almost every month since then, a dedicated group of photographers has hit the streets and front yards and back alleys of Portland, documenting all corners of the city we live in from every angle possible. Some photographers have just joined for a handful of squares; others have shot nearly all of them. After we photograph each month's square, we make prints of our favorite shots and meet up at somebody's house to share them.
By 2005, the first round of photographers had photographed all 98 of the squares. And then we thought: Why not do it another time? So some of the original photographers, plus a bunch of new ones, are shooting the squares again, in the same order, just nine years later.
Photographers from the first round included Jim Carmin, Tom Champion, Dawn-Starr Crowther, Deborah Dombrowski, Barbara Gilson, Ann Hughes, Tom Kearcher, Ann Kendellen, David Potter, Doug Prior, Christopher Rauschenberg, Rich Rollins, Patrick Stearns, Paul Sutinen, and William Washburn.
Photographers from the second round have included Blake Andrews, Mark Barnes, Nancy Butler, Lucy Capehart, Lisa Gidley, M. Bruce Hall, Carole Glauber, George Kelly, Ann Kendellen, Alexis Pike, David Potter, Christopher Rauschenberg, Shawn Records, Faulkner Short, William Washburn, and Bryan Wolf.
By this point, we've certainly shot tens of thousands of photographs of the entire city, from downtown to St. John's, from Woodstock and Sellwood to Marine Drive, and every neighborhood in between. And we're not done!
So why are we doing a Kickstarter? Well, we have all of these stacks of great photos of Portland, and we really want to share them with you and the rest of the world. But: we could truly use a better website. We do have a site now — you can visit it at http://portlandgridproject.com — but it's hard to navigate, and it's impossible to search for a photo from a particular part of town or a shot of a particular thing. And it certainly doesn't include all the photos we've made.
If we fund this Kickstarter with your help, we'll be able to upgrade our website from okay to excellent. Many more photos will be on view, and you'll be able to search for photos based on their location, their subject matter, or their photographer. We'll have other interactive features too, such as the ability to add keywords, zoom in on the map, and feature guest curators.
If you make a contribution, we've got many terrific rewards. You can choose an original print from a Grid Project photographer, so you can have a piece of Portland wherever you are. Below are some of the images offered; most are available in a variety of print sizes. See the sizing, pricing, and editioning details to the right side. (Some are limited editions while others are open editions.) Scroll down: we've got a lot! If you choose a print from a photographer who is offering more than one image, you can specify the one you want ("A" or "B" or such) after the project is funded.
We also have totebags, t-shirts, and other rewards at various levels.
Thanks for your interest!
Thanks to Portland musician Jamie Stillway for letting us use one of her songs in our Kickstarter video. You can visit her website at http://www.jamiestillway.com.
Risks and challenges
We're confident that if this Kickstarter gets funded, we'll be able to significantly improve our website. We have a design firm on standby that has already done some prototyping to make sure that the software can be tailored to a large, complex website such as ours and perform as needed. As to precisely when the new site will be online ... well, that's something we can't put an exact date on. There are always technical snags to work out with such a large undertaking. But hopefully it'd be within six months of the Kickstarter's funding, if not sooner. We'll send all backers an email when it's live!
If you're choosing a reward level that includes an original print from a Grid photographer, we'll aim to get those to you as soon as possible. Some of the prints on offer here have already been made; others will involve the photographer going into a darkroom or otherwise taking the time to make a custom print, and then carefully packing it up and sending it your way. So the exact date you'll get a print is hard to say — but we'll plan to mail it as quickly as we can. If you have questions about a specific print, or any other reward, please contact us.
Thanks, again, for your interest.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter