Embroidered Photographs That Illustrate the Failures of Photography


Diane Meyer’s “Time Spent That Might Otherwise Be Forgotten” project isn’t so much about what photography can do, but rather what photography can’t do. By embroidering pixel patterns into sections of her photographs, Meyer’s work focuses on the inability of photography to truly preserve “experience and personal history.”

Here is a sampling of her work:







The embroidery is sewn directly into the photographs, forming patches of pixelated stitching that, according to Meyer, represent “the means by which photographs become nostalgic objects that obscure objective understandings of the past.”

Head over to Meyer’s website to see more.

(via Flavorwire)

Image credits: Photography by Diane Meyer and used with permission.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Phil!

  • mutie

    1) “There is nothing objective about photography.” Well, not “nothing.” There are some things that are objective about it (where “objective” is defined as “not influenced by personal feelings”). There are other aspects which are not.

    2) “Question: What color was the Tyrannosaurus rex? We don’t know because they lost.” Also not precisely true. We can understand the chemical structure of the chromophores and deduce something of the color, objectively.

    You make it sound like all of existence is subjectively perceived. “Imperfect” isn’t a synonym for “subjective.”

  • Zoe Cappa

    Agreed. When you see people on the news who had their house burn down or destroyed by a major storm or tornado….what is the first thing most mention when lament over loss of their personal belongings….their photos. They are indeed memory triggers. Why does she think her weird pixel embroidery has to have any kind of meaning when basically it looks like any color theory 101 or color matching design exercise?

    Yet another art student who’s parents should have guided her into a more practical and in-demand field like engineering. Parents, stop sending your kids to art school when they are truly not artists! All they end up doing is racking up mountains of debt. Yes, Arts / Liberal Arts students have highest college debt now…and yeah, I got my arts degree too but I paid off my debt within 10 years of graduating and when I was in college there were very few of us…all of my friends went to medical, law and business schools. Art students were not flooding campuses 15 – 20 years ago. These kids now can’t get jobs so they work for free and undercut the market and earnings capabilities of everyone that does creative work to pay their bills.

    People like this need to just do art on the weekends as a hobby! Get an engineering, nursing or other degree that will benefit society. Not everyone can embroider photographs for a living. Ugh.