In fact, most everything you find has in one way or another filtered out from the lives of those who once owned it, while still suggesting something of the pace and patterns by which they lived. ... But amidst all this ongoing detritus of daily life there’s one sort of item that especially stands out: the discarded photo. Jeff Ferrell, Last Picture, published by Atopia Projects, 2022
Jeff Ferrell, a sociologist, scavenger, and author of several books, has scrounged trash piles and containers most every day for half a century. In conjunction with the recent publication of his book Last Picture, Ferrell presents “Last Picture: Trash, Photography, Dislocation,” in which he displays and discusses some of the thousands of discarded photographs he has salvaged from the trash heaps of Fort Worth over the past twenty years. He argues that the process of preserving these photographs raises a host of moral and aesthetic issues – and that the photographs themselves exist as visual apparitions, embodying dynamics of loss and dislocation, and hiding as much as they reveal.
Jeff Ferrell is the author of books including Crimes of Style, Tearing Down the Streets, Empire of Scrounge, and Drift: Illicit Mobility and Uncertain Knowledge – and, with Gavin Morrison and Fraser Stables, Last Picture. Ferrell is founding and current editor of the New York University Press book series Alternative Criminology, and is one of the founding editors of Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal, winner of the ALPSP Charlesworth Award for Best New Journal.