One friendly character you might have noticed as you browse photos on the Lomography website lately is Bob – He’s a lovely little cardboard man who has been snapped by photographers all over the world. We were given the opportunity to interview Bob’s creators, Richard Legg and Jake Woods-Maher on their inspiring photographic project.
First off, please give us a little introduction to what the ‘Have you seen Bob?’ project is?
Jake: “Have you seen bob?” is an open ended photographic project based primarily on our facebook page. Basically it’s a all about Bob, a small cardboard man looking for a place in the big wide world. People e-mail us their addresses and we mail them a handmade Bob of their very own. They then take photos with bob in any way they want and put them up on our community site.
Richard: What’s amazing about the project is the creativity and effort the bob community has displayed. People get photos of bob in all kinds of places and situations around the world. All these disperate events tie together because bob is in all of them! He connects all of the projects photographers and this has created a strong visual and conceptual bond often lacking in other open and public exhibitions.
When and how did the project come about?
Richard: A long long time ago we were two painters making a graphic novel about nightscapes, time and space etc. The main character was called Bob, we imagined him to be the one taking the viewer on a journey through our art. The idea to make a small Bob out of cardboard and see where we could get photos of him was a side project inspired by our work on the graphic novel. We contacted some cool Lomographers from around the globe to see if they wanted to take part. After a few weeks we had requests for Bob flooding in and now we work for Bob!!!! Who would have known!! Thanks to all those early Bobographers, especialy Hakimbo Hakim and Jorge Sato. We will finish the graphic novel though so watch out!
What’s the craziest place you’ve seen Bob so far?
Richard: That is a hard Question! Bob has been to a lot of crazy places! I think some of the most surreal photos have been from Kostya Shpak in Ukraine.. Bob was photographed hanging by the neck with what look like three quite frumpy voodoo dolls! Very strange.
Jake: It’s a toss up between being eaten by zombies in Belgium (courtesy of Jero Bou) or Bob with Cris Britos’s crazy friends in Uruguay. We’re talking Jesus and the Hamburglar here!
How many Bobs are there??
Richard: About 600!
Jake:Although there are many Bobs, there is just one Bob; he’s just in a lot of different places!
Many of the people who have taken part in the project so far are Lomographers – Is the project analogue-only?
Richard: No, anyone can take part with any camera! We want bob to be for everyone! Most of bob’s photographers are lomographers because the lomography community is a really active one full of people looking for fun and photos.
Jake:Plus the spirit of Lomography is very close to the heart of what bob’s about. An analogue camera is a bit like a little box of magic, you never quite know quite what your going to get (we’re looking at you Lomo!). That bit of light leak or double exposure, it can take you by suprise and more often than not gives results that surpass your expectations. And that’s just like bob, we put him in a brown envelope and off he goes. What he does and what we get back is up to the recipient, and that could basically be anything. We kind of want it to be everything.
Any ideas where Bob is off to next?
Richard: Oh bob has plenty of plans! He and a Diana Mini have stowed away in a teenagers backpack. He is currently in Nepal, he has already been bitten by a monkey and has plans to climb to Everest base camp. Maybe he will go all the way (probably not). You can read all about that here: http://bobtravels.tumblr.com/ He is also working with a great lomographer, Sofia Rodriguez. She is putting together a bob exhibition in Montevideo Uruguay and Bob is hoping to organise more international exhibitions in the future. Many hardcore Bobographers write their adventures down and we post them here: http://haveyouseenbobsblog.blogspot.com/ on Bob’s blog. Ultimately where bob goes from here is up to you! He is for everyone and everything.
How can people get involved in the ‘have you seen Bob?’ project?
Jacob: Just email us an address at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post him to you. Alternatively you can download him from www.haveyouseenbob.co.uk. Once you have Bob take him to places, and take photos! Then post them on www.facebook.com/haveyouseenbob to
have your Bob adventures immortalised.
Want to take part in the ‘Have you seen Bob?’ fun? Take part in our Bob dedicated Rumble