Deface Project: A Collaborative Photo Collection

Deface Project is a collaborative photo project started by artists Jerry Bedor Phillips and Cayla B. Mims in response to immediate changes the COVID-19 pandemic caused in the world.

This project began  as a way of recording the unintended results of a “new normality” – one where every day life revolves around the  necessity for personal protective equipment in public and private spaces.

The immediate need for face masks as a simple preventative measure to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in a large number of these PPE (both disposable and reusable) left behind on community streets, parking lots, landscaping and in public interior spaces. These remnants were captured in photographs taken with mobile devices during the artists’ daily routine.

The project launched as a continuous practice of post Instagram stories and evolved into a website collecting the photographs. Most recently, the artists collated and constructed artist books binding a set of 36 photos into a concertina/accordion structure.

The Deface Project can be found at:

Learn more about the artists:
Cayla B. Mims
Jerry Bedor Phillips

Deface Project would like to thank friends, family, and colleagues who have submitted their photos to the growing collection:
Colleen McHugh
Janet Hurst
Jana Harper

Heather Felton
Rosemary Brunton.


Project  Update: The Deface Project was submitted for inclusion to the Vanderbilt University Pandemic Archive. This initiative is collecting artifacts, digital files, and documents that capture what the pandemic was like the university calendar year.