I'm curious as to how many Kickstarter projects come down to the wire, in terms of reaching their funding goal by the deadline, as one of the basic principles of the economics of crowdfunding. Case in point, the third and final installment of the photography book project "Bicycle Portraits," which is just under 35 hours away from its deadline with ~$2,000 to go (as of press time) towards the $15,000 goal.
The project lies at the intersection of documentary photography, art book, and cultural snapshot (in a manner of speaking): authors "Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler have spent the last 2 years cycling over 6000 kilometers to collect over 500 portraits of everyday commuters throughout South Africa."
We're publishing the best 165 portraits and stories over 3 books. Each of the 3 books will contain a different 55 stories, and also two essays each by local South African and major international cycling figures. The books are designed by Gabrielle Guy and we have also collaborated with celebrated South African artist Gabrielle Raaff to create an individual hand-painted watercolor map, based on Google Maps, to indicate the location of each of our portraits.
The portraits themselves are remarkable in themselves, but the hand-painted maps provide a nice complementary visual element. Similarly, we've seen bicycle-themed books before, but the firsthand accounts make for a truly illuminating look at a specific time and place through the broad theme of alternative transportation.
The project aimed to be a study of South African commuter culture (something that is nearly non-existent here), but it's turned into a portrait of a nation through the bicycles that they own and ride every day—revealing all manner of social, class, historical and cultural nuances never imagined.
I'm also digging the soundtrack to the Kickstarter video...
The first two parts of the process were successfully Kickstarted in June and September of 2010; with any luck, this Thursday, December 8, will see the project come to fruition. An $80 pledge will get you the full set of three books; at that rate, Engelbrecht and Grobler need just 25 more backers to spring for the collection.