Before You Die

I’m so transfixed by the site Before I Die I Want To.  Simple in its execution, moving in its honest sincerity.  The concept is Polaroid photos taken at the moment people confess the one thing they want to do before they die, then they write it in Sharpie on the photo.  Then, the confessions are published online.

The result is something that is riveting and ultimately sad because there is the lingering notion that most of the people will never truly accomplish what they want to do before they die.  Obligations and whatnot.  There are always excuses.

Creators, Nicole Kenney (Brooklyn, NY) and ks rives (Chicago, IL) keep their Polaroid cameras close at hand, taking portraits wherever they go to add to the collection. They snap the photo while the subject is saying what they want to do before they die, getting them in the act of stating their desire. Nicole and ks then request that the subject writes his or her statement on the Polaroid starting with the words “Before I die I want to….” As the subjects are signing the release form, the artists ask them to include their email.

The website is updated continuously with new portraits.

In a number of years (five, ten, twenty, etc.), Nicole and ks will contact the participants via email to see if they have accomplished their goal, if they are on their way, or why they haven’t made steps in that direction. At this future time, Nicole and ks will ask them to write a short story next to their photo on the website about fulfilling their expressed want. Seeing online that other people are fulfilling their desires will motivate participants to complete their task and write a story of their own.

Best. Idea. Ever.

There is more reading on the website, as the duo have compiled the immense amounts of deserved press.  You can add them to the list of people I would love to profile.  I suppose this is also where I say, before I die I want to . . . too many to choose one, but immediately it would be to make it to all 50 US states.  I’ve only got about 7 or 8 to go to.  Completely achievable.  I’ve also painted a self-portrait and gone sky diving, which is kinda cool.  But I’ve also got about 50 other things I’d like to do.

So have at, what would you want to do before dying?

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