Social before Social Media: Paul Druecke: A Social Event Archive, 1997–2007

The exhibition Paul Druecke: A Social Event Archive, 1997–2007 has been extended until August 27th! Come discover this Milwaukee artist’s project that looks at how “social” was defined in the era before social media.

In 1997, conceptual artist Paul Druecke began going door to door asking local residents to contribute a snapshot of a “social occasion, public or private, current or historical” to his project A Social Event Archive. Predating Instagram and Facebook and the blurring of private and public that such social media platforms encourage, the collected 731 photographs reflect a democratic definition of social events, up to and including picnics and potlucks, planned events and spontaneous moments.

We interviewed attendees at the exhibition opening on May 11, 2017 about their reactions to the photographs on view. Take a listen as our Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Lisa Sutcliffe, talks about the work and the public’s reactions to this visionary project. Paul Druecke: A Social Event Archive, 1997–2007 will be on view until August 27, 2017 in the Museum’s Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts.


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