In May of 2012, I began to investigate my neighborhood to find deconstructed and uninhabited properties to photograph, being drawn to decayed and blighted buildings, old weathered billboards, flaking hand-painted signage, wind-worn wood, cracked security glass, chipped brick, and other signs of entropy. The photographs in this book represent parts of my neighborhood as well as other locations I’ve visited around the country.
As a photographer, I do not invent the subject but instead construct the context for what is visually represented. This happens through a series of decisions beginning with framing the shot, controlling the camera, editing the content and choosing where and how to display the image. In doing so, I take or appropriate the subject and determine its meaning and identity. In these works, I reveal and invent information about the subject by recontextualizing it as something to be looked upon and considered rather than driven past and ignored. This entitles the viewer the ability to relate to and appreciate something that in its original context is usually unsightly, wasted, blighted and ugly. The photographs are taken from an existing reality, are presented in my manipulated reality, and through being seen, become a reality unique to each viewer.
For many people, a photograph is a replacement for an authentic and substantive experience. My intention for these photographs is to motivate viewers to seek out and appreciate similar images, patterns, textures and experiences in their own communities, neighborhoods, destinations and daily experiences. My hope is that in doing so, they will become more resistant to the culture of waste so prevalent in our society and more aware of the aesthetic and intrinsic value of their surroundings.