Home Responsible Leaders Touchdown: München

Touchdown: München

written by Andy Lin 19. May 2016


In my experience, getting to a place is almost always sweeter if there’s some sort of tribulation along the way; coasting down a hill is so much more gratifying if you’ve first put the work in climbing it (note to self: pick up telemark skiing).  So although minor in the scheme of things, not knowing if I would have a valid passport by the time my plane took off was a bit stressful for someone who really wanted to be at his first World Responsible Leaders Forum.  I won’t go into the reason why my passport wasn’t valid – it has to do with quantum physics, specifically time-bending and the malleable nature of expiration dates – but suffice it to say I’m here now, and so far so good.  

Yesterday was all about:

The English Garden

The English (bier)Garden

Celebrity Cruises™ stunners (adorning face of celebrity stunner Chris Fowler™)

Liverpool v Sevilla in the Europa Cup final (next year, Liverpool!)

So why am I here?  I was invited by Chris Fowler™ (see above), the U.S. Chapter Head of the Responsible Leaders Network, to participate on behalf of the Self-Portrait Project.  The Self-Portrait Project is a photo-based, art and archival project dedicated to enabling people in the creation of their own images.  It’s a unique setup which uses a two-way mirror and remote trigger that lends agency to the user; in the Self-Portrait Project, you are simultaneously both model and photographer.  I built the first kit about seven years ago as an experimental art project and have had almost 500 activations since then while gathering over half a million images for the archive – mostly in New York City but also in Italy, Haiti, and Palestine.  Here are some of my favorite Self-Portraits gathered over the years:

On the one hand, it’s a fun photobooth-like setup, and on the other hand, it can used as a tool for social change by empowering people to tell their own visual stories on their own terms, kind of like a visual Storycorps.  I’ll be setting up the Self-Portrait Project at various places during the forum, including all of the social events in the evening, and blogging images gathered from these activations right here in the WRLF blog.  Look for a metallic-looking outfit, strobing lights, and possibly flailing arms and legs somewhere in the room – it’s like its own traveling discoteque.  See you there.

Andy Lin