The countdown to the London Olympics is on—robo-mascots Wenlock and Mandeville! Wolff Olins’ seizure-inducing logo that we maintain is a stealth tribute to Jem and the Holograms! women’s boxing!—but what effect do the Games have on their host cities and the people who live there? Filmmaker Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized) and photographer Jon Pack have teamed up to answer this question with “The Olympic City,” a photography project that looks at the legacy of the Olympic Games in former host cities around the world. The duo has embarked on a world tour of sorts that has already taken them to Los Angeles, Montreal, Lake Placid, Athens, Rome, and, most recently, Mexico City.
“We’re documenting the successes and failures, the forgotten remnants and ghosts of the Olympic spectacle,” they say. “Some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules, examples of misguided planning and broken promises of the benefits that the Games would bring.” A Kickstarter campaign is underway to fund the project, including printing costs for a large-format hardcover art book slated for publication next year to coincide with an exhibition of the photographs. Paul Sahre has signed on to design the book, which will also be available in digital form. Backers get first dibs on the books and photo prints from the project, and big spenders ($3,500+) can spend the day in an Olympic city with Hustwit and Pack.