When Student Projects Become Public

There was an interesting event in Atlanta earlier this week – the bomb squad was called in when a suspicious item was spotted attached to a bridge. Given the era we live in, their response – shutting down part of I-85, diverting traffic and detonating it – were all completely appropriate.

But it turns out the item, taped to the bridge, was a student photography project.

Yeah, think on that for a moment. What lessons can we learn from this?

To start with, I think you need to be much more aware of the climate we now live in. Unidentified devices awkwardly taped to public structures are not going to be received well. What efforts were made to notify authorities? To seek permission? To track their locations so as soon as this news broke they could step up and explain?

This appears to have been a photographic process assignment – extremely long exposure photography, several months long. So perhaps the impact of the process on the general project wasn’t part of the discussion. I hope it is now.

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