For nearly twenty years, Jane Waggoner Deschner has been accumulating found vernacular photographic snapshots and studio portraits – her archive now exceeds 65,000 – and manipulating them to change how we understand their meaning and imagined histories.
Deschner’s techniques range from digital manipulation to painstaking hand embroidery, often stitching famous, dry or ironic quotes to create what she describes as a “satisfying, meditative intimacy with mechanically captured moments of unknown people’s lives.” Her collages and embroidery range from personal explorations and existential ruminations on death to political commentary and discussions of gender.
Her latest series, Remember me: a Collective Narrative in Found Words and Photographs, includes 700 found photographs embroidered with anecdotes culled from family and friend-written obituaries. For Deschner, this process illustrates a collective narrative that reminds us of how we are all connected.
Longtime fans of her work, we invited snapshot-collector-extraordinaire Robert E. Jackson to speak with Deschner about her process and ideas.
Robert E. Jackson in conversation with Jane Waggoner Deschner