What is the 'Johnny Appleseed Theory'? It is the idea that one can plant numerous seeds out in the world, and hopefully, over time, some seeds will grow into trees.
What does this have to do with Critical Mass?
If you are a finalist, Critical Mass puts your work in front of 200 people, and the idea is that people will remember your work, will hopefully connect with it immediately, or pass it onto someone who might use it, or perhaps come back to it over time. The seed of seeing your work has been planted in people's 'eye-memory', and sometimes that leads to bigger things down the road.
|Andrew and Taurin Drinking Raw Goat's Milk, Tennessee, ©Lucas Foglia|
An example: Lucas Folgia submitted his work to Critical Mass in 2008. Photolucida did an interview with him on our blog the following November. We watched his great series filter out into the world over time and were happy to see that Nazraeli Press just published his monograph titled "A Natural World". I was happy to do an interview/book review for the book, which is currently on photo-eye's blog. Long story short, the work has sprouted and grown, and hey, if you are in New York City, tonight is Lucas' book signing at International Center for Photography. Go!
Photographer Deborah Hamon's note to us illustrates the 'Johnny Appleseed Theory' as well, remarking on juror connections sometimes being immediate, and sometimes taking time:
|Manicured, ©Deborah Hamon|
Sometimes it may take more time: the editor of ‘The Picture Professional’ Magazine contacted me about featuring my work in their summer 2012 issue. The publisher, Jain Lemos, had seen my work in CM 2009 and had commented positively so I had kept in touch. Additionally, I have been juried into exhibitions where the juror was a CM juror, so perhaps this was an indirect result from participating in Critical Mass. And finally, there are a number of contacts that I have made over the years, and Critical Mass is a nice way for them to see my new work and keep my work in the forefront of their minds for possible new opportunities."