Personal stories powerfully connected.
View, play, share because a story shared enriches peoples lives, creates opportunity and positive possibility. It is in this relatedness that the unknown comes into being and the world becomes a better place as a result.
I love portrait biography because it has an element of the unknown about it and the fact that as a creative practice, portrait biography is as powerful as it gets. Portrait biography is as personal as it is political.
Courtesy of French philosophers Guattari and Deleuze, portrait biography is an "assemblage" or connections between parts, which as they are temporally and spatially fixed to form an entity, forge new material, collective and discursive relations that simultaneously make a phenomenon perceptible, invest it with meaning, and extend to it possibilities and constraints. [ ref. The Politics of Resource Extraction. Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State - Suzana Sawyer and Edmund Terence Gomez (eds.) Palgrave McMillan, 2012 New York ]
In fact, when a site viewer interacts with a contributors portrait image and their audio life story the personal often becomes political. To be the catalyst, to facilitate and to connect good people to each other as an artist is the greatest joy of all - Alexander Hayes, Co-founder
The creative practice of portrait biography brings together two powerful elements in the one location to engage the viewer.
A high resolution photographic portrait image of the subject is accompanied by an audio recording that is made playable online via the Connections.life website in proximity to the portrait photograph. The viewer is invited to simultaneously listen to the contributors life story whilst viewing and considering the photographic representation of that person.
It is often reported that site visitors will select a photographic thumbnail that most appeals to their aesthetic appreciation from the array of thumbnails available on the home page of the website and then experience a very different understanding of that individual when they have taken time to listen to that contributors life story.
It is in the practice of 'seeing' that person for who they are, not just who they appear to be that we discover a deeper connection to that human being. In many cases, having heard a contributors story, the viewer is often compelled to connect with that individual.
The power of portrait biography is that the connections between the audience (viewer) and the subject (contributor) often remains a mystery even to the Artist, Alexander Hayes. A site visitor is encouraged to seek the connection with that individual or individuals of their own accord and in that reaching out new connection bring about positive possibilities.
It is in this relatedness that the unknown comes into being and the world becomes a better place as a result.
- Duration - There are no set time limits for how long an individual Contributor may tell their personal life story.
- Monetary Compensation - Contributors are NOT paid any monetary compensation for their contributions to this website.
- Focus - "...please tell the world your life story." is the only prompt provided to the Contributor at the commencement of the audio recording.
- Themes - they are NO themes, subject delineations, genres or any other sorting mechanisms for contributions to this initiative.
- Access - Contributors images and audio podcast recordings story are provided live to the Internet for general viewing, sharing and interpretation subject to the personal copyright of the Artist, (The Creator) Alexander Hayes.
- Rights - The Creator may withdraw any photo (image) and oral story (audio recording) at any time without notice to site visitors.
- Moral Rights - The Contributor retains all moral and intellectual rights to their Contribution
- Retraction - Contributors may retract their Contribution at any time by written request
- Understandings - By participating in this initiative all Contributors understand that their personal photograph and their oral story (audio recording) is being made available under open access to all via the Internet.
- License Types - All other content provided in this website is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported Licence
- Sharing - Website visitors are encouraged to share with others a select story using the direct URL of that story because direct post attribution protects the integrity and intended composition, layout and message of each website entry.
Format, Conditions & Agreements
- Selection - A Contributor is informed of the Connections.life initiative and an invitation is generated for that individual to become a Contributor. A Contributor must be over the age of 21 years old at the point of Internet publication.
- Invitation - By invitation a Contributor meets with Alexander Hayes, at the convenience of both and in a location agreed to record an oral podcast (MP3 recording) of the Contributors personal life story, only limited by reasonable everyday or situational time constraints.
- Photography - At the convenience of the Contributor, a series of fully clothed, seated, portrait style monochromatic photographs (usually no more than 10 photographs) are taken of the Contributor to be used in conjunction with index page gallery, main posting and any further promotional use. All photographs are converted and made available in various file formats to the Contributor in high resolution format for their personal data retention and future reuse subject to copyright and attribution licences of the Artist.
- Subject Release - At the time of oral podcast recording and photographic shoot the Contributor is required to sign a 'Subject Release' waiver which essentially provides a written memorandum of understanding between Contributor and the Connections.life facilitator and online web host convenor, Alexander Hayes of the core Contributions, Copyright and Attribution conditions of this initiative. The 'Subject Release' is not a legally binding document, rather a record of key contributive factors guiding the ethical distribution of and continued empathetic aggregation of the Contributors life story, including specific take-down procedures, notifications and prior consents.
- Web Representation - One (1) monochromatic photograph per contributor is selected by Alexander Hayes (limited filter alterations) to accompany the oral podcast recording by an individual Contributor. Each oral podcast recording is edited by Alexander Hayes, only 'topping' and 'tailing' the oral podcast recording, leaving complete all other inclusive audio intonations, interruptions, situational noise or environmental interference without exclusions. An index page thumbnail is linked to a post page containing the high resolution portrait image accompanied by a web accessible oral podcast recording for viewer interaction.
- Chronology - Each image is displayed in the chronology of connection by Alexander Hayes with the contributor. All web development and Contributor inclusion is entirely subject to the discretion of Alexander Hayes. No correspondence will be entered into as to order, scope, availability or editing of material made available by the website for Visitor interaction.
- Contributor Digital Production Understanding - as part of the 'Subject Release' the Contributor is read (oral) a clause at the point of signed agreement which indicates in writing that they understand that publication of the selected photograph/s, the audio recording and any related promotional material that contains the Contributors digital representational likeness is subject to the open aggregation of said material without restriction, without geolocation region specificity, without expiration and effectively published openly to the Internet, subject to web archive retention and recomposition by personal digital recorders and related data retention archives.
- Take Down Procedure - A Contributor may at any time request and have immediately expedited the removal of any Contributor specific digital representation (photograph and audio recording) in a reasonable timeframe by sending a written request for takedown via the website contact page.
- Copyright - the Creator, Alexander Hayes to be known as 'Artist' retains full copyright of the photograph and audio podcast recording of each Contributor, subject to the moral rights of that Contributor, seeking any other digital or print based representation of the Contributors representation use in writing, subject to the written approval of anything not mutually agreed upon in the original 'Subject Release' agreement
- Monetary Compensation or Profit Sharing - the Connections.life initiative is a self funded, lifelong NOT FOR PROFIT cultural activity to be known as the 'art work' whereby NO monetary compensation is provided to Contributors in any way; that NO sales, NO digital reproductions, NO print reproductions, NO exhibitions of, NO licensing, NO sub-licensing and NO form of sale or profit generation from distribution of Contributor material will EVER be permissible either by the Creator (Artist) nor by the Contributor. All digital and social media re-sharing MUST be by attribution inclusive of the full web hyperlink to the individual Contributors posting.
WebSITE hosting & Sustainability
- Community of Interest - The Connections.life website, its content, related web domain provision and all related services are self funded by Alexander Hayes, as a cultural community of interest and connections actionist 'art work'.
- Connections & Opportunities - This is NOT a project with any milestones nor defined outputs, nor does its development assure Contributors nor the Artist of any planned, consequential or substantive payment in monies or kind other than connections and opportunities that emanate from those connections with other human beings.
- Hosting - The web host, Squarespace (www.squarespace.com) is a secure personal web hosting service renewed on an annual basis providing triple redundancy web hosting data and service availability and protection. The website, access to web content and web content inclusion of Contributor material is provided on an 'as-is' basis.
Download the Subject Release [ PDF 172KBs ]