Michael Thomas Connolly
I am a multimedia producer based in the Bellingham area. For 10 years I ran Empty Sea Studios in Seattle, focusing on recording acoustic and roots music, but over time, branching into documentary film, TV production and photography as well. In 2019, my fiancee and I moved just outside of Ferndale to start a more rural lifestyle, build a new studio, and raise some chickens.
Though digital media is an inescapable fact of life in this time, I have a deep fascination with analog processes - recording music onto magnetic tape, using analog equipment to mix music, and shooting photos on film. I love looking at old photographs shot on medium and large-format film - the quality is astounding given the age, and makes those times feel "real" to us today. I would like to find a way to remember 2020 in a similar manner far into a future in which our 2020 smartphone has long been discarded. For me, archiving silver gelatin prints and negatives feels like a safe way to keep the memory of this time "real" to future generations.
There are a number of photographers around the country right now offering "porch portraits." Of the projects I've seen, the one missing piece is the idea of trying to take a historical long-view - to make sure that we capture this epic moment in our history in a way similar to our predecessors. I am particularly inspired by the work of Arthur Rothstein and other early documentary photographers - they captured moments of American history that might otherwise be passing into a less visceral memory for us.
My hope with this project is to create a striking collection of photographs and writing that captures the experience of our community during this time. I would love your help in adding your voice and image to this time capsule.