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Photographer Uses Roadside Weather Cameras for Creepy Self Portraits

Tatu Gustafsson’s self portraits are like the world’s easiest and most depressing game of Where’s Waldo?
February 13, 2016, 3:15pm

Tatu Gustafsson’s four-year-long Weather camera self-portraits project is an exercise in relinquishing artistic control. As a photography student, he found that he “didn’t really like the control that photographer has when he or she is taking a picture.”

“I mean, like composition and how I directed the people I was photographing,” Gustafsson tells The Creators Project. “I wanted to let go of this control.”

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Finland’s automated weather cameras served as the perfect vehicle for this abandonment of power. Every 12 minutes, over 700 roadside cameras all over the country capture photos, which are uploaded to the Finnish Transport Agency’s website for 24 hours. Since last fall, Gustafsson has spent a week out of every month living in his car as he travels around Finland, posing for these weather cameras. The resulting photos are eerily empty, featuring often-quiet roadways devoid of human life, save for Gustafsson’s specter-like figure.

“I have tried to find a ways to make art that is democratic in the sense that everyone could do it,” writes Gustafsson. Weather camera self-portraits very nearly fits this bill, except for the fact that creating the project requires the Kone Foundation grant money he won to fund it. Gustafsson says that he’s “still working to find a way to do an art piece that doesn’t need either money or skill.” We're psyched to see what he comes up with.

To learn more about Tatu Gustafsson’s work, click here.

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