The Before I die I want to… project was inspired by a combination of factors: (1) the “death” of the Polaroid, (2) a psychologist’s tool called safety contracts, and (3) a passion to get people to think about (and act upon) what is really important in their life through this simple, very straight-forward question.
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.
:: via Josh Spear