Silvermine, a pile of negatives saved from Beijing recycling facility by a French photography collector, Thomas Sauvin, contains some half a million shots snapped between 1985 and 2005 by ordinary citizens of the People's Republic of China. The pictures are erratic, anonymous and occasionally brilliant. They reflect a change, a change from old China to new, from collective to private, from analog to digital. They have no agenda. They are whatever you want them to be: an art project, a social study, pure fun, or a bit of each.
To ensure this selection contains previously unpublished images, Thomas has offered to pick picture numbers at random, which eventually led us to an idea of utilizing a definitive random number generating technique—I Ching, The Book of Changes coin tossing.
The rules: 1. Coins are tossed three times for a total number of pictures. The largest number wins. 2. Coins are tossed again three more times for each number. If the resulting number is greater than the total of the last roll of film number (10860) and the maximum number of pictures on a roll (36) coins are tossed again up to three times.