Why a calendar?
The easy answer is that calendars have always been kind of porny, and we wanted to fuck with that form. This was very convenient for us, but as it turned out, 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the first nude calendar. We definitely didn't plan that, but we wondered what has changed since then? There is an interesting back story. The painting, MatinĂ©e de Septembre, was in somebody's gallery window, and the commissioner of police made them take it down because it was scandalous. From that, it became this kitsch symbol and became famous not as a painting but for the reproduction of the painting.
We also like the idea of offline expressions of online ideas. The most important thing is how the Internet organizes culture. We knew that we would have some sort of online presence, but when you actually make something that you can touch, it's just a little more real. It's one thing to create a meme, which is ephemeral and never really exists anywhere. We liked the idea of having an actual launch party and having an actual product.
Making a calendar also gives the project a "Hey, come back in a year" staying power as well.
You can submit a photo on our website, and our hope is to create next year's calendar from this year's submissions. This year, we really had to go and dig to identify the best ones we could find.
How did that work? Were you just searching Flickr for "naked people swimming"?
Yeah, basically. It wasn't as easy as it sounds. There isn't really good search criteria. You can't type in "good skinny dipping" photos on Flickr. It was a real challenge, but I think that we ended up with at least an interesting mix of places. What was really interesting to me was when we started getting the stories of each image. There is so much difference between the two guys in Iceland who were literally naked for five seconds, and the couple in Toronto who spent a long August weekend together. The tempo is really different. To have a common thread like that is helpful. It gives you a basis for comparing the experiences and the places.