taryn simon

taryn simon


intro’d to Taryn here, tedglobal 2009:

photographs of secret sites

especially intrigued at 11:30 – in regard to Bryan‘s work, et al. they inaccuracies that photos encourage..


then .. her 2012 ted:

the stories behind the blood lines

this disorder is in contrast to the unalterable order of a bloodline

mass pile of images/stories forms an archive – ..the narratives that surround the lives we lead are just as coded as blood itself. archives exist because there’s something that can’t necessarily be articulated.. something is said in the gaps between all the information that’s collected.. there’s this relentless persistence of birth and death.. and an unending collection of stories inbetween, it’s almost machine-like the way people are born and people die ….the stories keep coming and coming.. is this actual accumulation leading to some sort of evolution or are we on repeat over and over again…


find/follow Taryn:

her site:


wikipedia small





Taryn Simon (born February 4, 1975) is an American artist. Simon’s artistic medium consists of three equal elements: photography, text, and graphic design. Her practice involves extensive research, in projects guided by an interest in systems of categorization and classification. She is a graduate of Brown University and a 1999 Guggenheim Fellow.


The Innocents (Umbrage, 2003, ISBN 9781884167188)

[the following shared at 11:30 in Taryn’s ted 2009 above]

The Innocents (2003) documents the stories of individuals who were wrongly sentenced to death or life sentences, and were released due to DNA evidence. The project focuses on the role of photographic evidence in these erroneous convictions.

Simon has commented: “For the men and women in these photographs, the primary cause of wrongful conviction was mistaken identification. A victim or eyewitness identifies a suspected perpetrator through law enforcement’s use of photographs and lineups. […] In our reliance upon [DNA evidence], we marginalize the majority of the wrongfully convicted, for whom there is no DNA evidence, or those for whom the cost of DNA testing is prohibitive.” This project inspired her to apply for and be awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Photography to travel across the United States photographing and interviewing individuals who were unfairly convicted. Simon photographed the men at sites that had particular significance to their illegitimate conviction: the scene of misidentification, the scene of arrest, the scene of the crime or the scene of the alibi. In Simon’s forward for the book she writes, “Photography’s ability to blur truth and fiction is one if its most compelling qualities… Photographs in the criminal justice system, and elsewhere, can turn fiction into fact. As I got to know the men and women in this book, I saw that photography’s ambiguity, beautiful in one context, can be devastating in another.”[26]

In 2002, Simon worked with Joseph Logan to turn The Innocents into a book. Logan has since collaborated on all four of Simon’s books.[5] The book was published in 2003 by Umbrage Books with commentary provided by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project. The Innocence Project provides pro bono legal representation on behalf of people seeking to prove their innocence post-conviction. Neufeld and Scheck remark in their commentary in the book that, “As much as these remarkable photographs of the innocents and their families bear witness to the forces that led to this immense suffering, so, too, do they oblige us to ponder their survival.”

false memory via Elizabeth Loftus: