the diptych experiment

Beginning on November 1, 2009 Kaitlyn Smith, living in Massachusetts, and Laurie Matthews, hailing from Oregon; started taking one photograph a day during the course of their daily lives. Their daily photographs are connected to form diptychs capturing the combination of their daily lives – sometimes showing the similarities and often times showing the contrasts between their lives on the east and west coasts. These are just some of the diptychs they’ve created. More can be found by clicking the flickr link to the left, a site which will be updated as the experiment continues.

The idea for the diptych is not new. The tradition reaches back centuries into the early days of artistic expression when two panels were attached with a hinge. Attaching two panels or tablets was a way of showing the relationship between two seemingly separate elements. Diptychs also allowed artwork to travel with added protection – folding the two pieces together until a traveler reached their destination. Modern inspirations for the WestEast diptych came from friends and other artists who are creating similar artistic experiments using 21st century technology.

Laurie and Kaitlyn met in Boston in 2005 at a cocktail party featuring a cocktail ice luge and a ton of designers. The best part was that Kaitlyn also met her future husband, Andrew (also a friend of Laurie’s), that very same evening. An auspicious night for sure. Kaitlyn and Laurie quickly bonded over their love of the Boston Red Sox.

Now with 3106 miles between them, they devised this way to keep in touch with both the momentous and mundane aspects of their daily lives. Laurie’s west coast images are on the left and Kaitlyn’s east coast images are on the right. The “12” and “45” correspond to the numbers of their favorite Red Sox players (Mark Bellhorn and Pedro Martinez, respectively), both of whom were members of the 2004 World Series winning team. Go Sox! And enjoy the experiment!

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