This past May in New York City, 1000 people gathered around 479 dishes in an old warehouse just to look at photographs. Incidentally, the event broke the Guinness record for the world's largest potluck. But this particular Slideluck Potshow (i.e. slideshow potluck), as it's called, was actually one of dozens that have occurred over the past decade — all over the world.
The first Potshow (no green stuff involved, at least not to my knowledge) took place about 10 years ago in Casey Kelbaugh's Seattle backyard — with a bunch of slide film and live narration, he explained on the phone. These days, they happen organically all over the world, whether Kelbaugh is there or not.
The American notion of "potluck" translates in funny ways overseas. Kelbaugh recalled a particularly delicious leg of "jamon" in Seville, Spain, and some other food oddities in Germany. But he also emphasized that the next upcoming Potshow, happening tonight in Washington, D.C., was curated almost entirely by locals — as each Potshow is just that: localized.
Past participants include Chuck Close, Edward Burtynsky and Elliott Erwitt. But, like all of the other shows, tonight's will feature a mix of amateurs, professionals, locals and visitors. The event is part of FotoWeek DC, a weeklong photography festival, and the curators have shared a sample of what will be shown. But keep an eye out for Potshows in your town; the next two will be in New Orleans and Austin respectively. Or, heck, maybe spearhead one in your town.