My work over the past couple of years has been an ongoing project called Factory-Trees. Through various photo series I’ve explored concepts like cohabitation and colonization through the roles and relationships of physical elements within our common environment.
These particular images are from one of those series called The History of Towns and Cities which considers the role human structures play in creating the space of our daily lives. Originally a means of surface colonization, our built artifacts over time start to shed value, and in the process begin to take on their own trajectories. These structures together form our conception of place. Though familiar, often to the point of escaping notice, our places and the elements within them continuously evolve, much like the organisms living among them.
With this perspective a photograph becomes, not a frozen moment separated from time, but rather a documentation of change: complex, alive, in a steady state of collective becoming.
— David Carter Lee, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
My project Traces of Fantasy is looking for present traces made by the ideological practices that underlay the development of the Romanian urban space during the communist era.
The state’s desire to transform the Romanian agrarian society into an industrial one, the depopulation of the villages and filling the new created cities with people, are the main instruments used by the government to concretize the utopian concept “The New Man.”
Architecture during the communist period becomes an instrument conditioned by the political discourse. The urbanization of the country had a very important role, because a community is much easier to control by the state if the people live in a city.
“The New Man” fantasy is based upon a projective model given that those who conceive it delineate it totally from the historical reality that they lived and which they considered damaged.
The belief that the equality between individuals must be primordial showed forth through the architectural equability. In this way were built the “bedroom neighborhoods.” The architecture became an instrument conditioned by political discourse.
— Dani Gherca, Bucharest, Romania
I’ve lived on and off in the Catskill Mountains for 25 years, and have been a homeowner several times over. However, the more experience I gain with land ownership, the less I understand it. I’ve witnessed my own relationship to the land shift from romantic reverence to selfish coveting to indifferent utility and have also observed the same complex contradictory feelings in my friends, family and neighbors.
By documenting the evolving landscape scenes from my everyday life, I am trying to reconcile my relationship to the land as I struggle to maintain a home and ecologically conscious lifestyle within a rural setting. The scenes I photograph are hidden in plain sight, often transient and easily dismissed, and yet in many ways they are the most concrete evidence of how changing behavior and attitudes, both individual and collective, can transform the landscape and shape our consciousness.
— Dave Hebb, Bearsville, New York
These photographs are part of an on-going project entitled 295 Kilometers. From its source in the Karwendel range of the Alps to the mouth, the river Isar runs for 295 kilometers through Tyrol and Bavaria before reaching the Danube. While well known and appreciated for its recreational value, I set out to find and document the forgotten places, the hideouts and oddities along the river I grew up with.
— Martin Friedrich, Munich, Germany
My first morning in Iceland, I alternated between each of the seven windows of my studio apartment, craning my neck to look up the valley, down the fjord, up the mountain slopes and around all the other houses. It was 10am and the morning light maintained a dark deep blue. As the day carried on, the sun never broke the mountains, but circled around the peaks – gracing only the tops of the opposing ridges with direct light. I was told that the sun would only find the town again in February.
This series is an excerpt of my visual diary from January, 2015, my first month in Seydisfjördur, Iceland. I spent 28 consecutive days wandering on foot within the limits of the short daylight hours.
— Jessica Auer, Quebec & Iceland
“The object to begin with is a window.”
— William Henry Fox Talbot, August 9, 1829
While being a wanderer by heart, as a photographer I am always drawn in by the sense of place as well as the space between myself and the sights which caught my attention at first. In this ongoing series, devoid of human figures, called Entities, I wish to combine the elements of recent, personal exploration of localities, the reoccurring motives, the underlying changes taking place in my life and the attempt to make a visual comment on our world and provoke fresh thoughts thereafter. I would like to convey the sense of both physical presence — the place and the psychological presence — the presence of the photographer, despite the fact of actual, visual absence.
— Kinga Owczennikow, Tirana, Albania
Photographs of European passenger ferries arriving at the United Kingdom coastline form the project titled European Ferries. I wanted to respond to the recent decision Britain has made to leave the European Union.
Physically the images depict historical links connecting the UK to its current continent but that is subject to change. Metaphorically the photographs consider horizons and our divisive cultural attitude towards them.
— Willie Robb, East Sussex, England
For this landscapes series, called Origins, I wanted to come back to my birth area and explore the notion of identity through different authentic places.
This is a kind of documentary work and a feeling to discover again this deep country with another view. I spent two months, alone, in order to understand this isolated rural area.
Wildness is of course really present, as rough as the local identity. I like to capture empty places, sometimes abandoned. It seems to me relevant to describe an “out of time” environment.
— Stéphane Dupin, Paris, France
Chasing the Paper Canoe, published by the Athenaeum Press of Coastal Carolina University, was a collaboration of many individuals, including me.
This body of work was a contemporary photographic journey and historic reimagining of traveler Nathaniel Bishop’s 2,500-mile journey from Montreal, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico through eastern waterways during 1874 and 1875 on a paper canoe.
Chasing the Paper Canoe examined Chapter 11 of Bishop’s journal Voyage of the Paper Canoe, tracing the Waccamaw River in North Carolina down to the Winyah Bay-Charleston area of South Carolina.
While the river and people that Bishop encountered are no longer the same, it is necessary to be conscious of what once existed in order to understand what is there today. In doing so, there is an ability to establish a similar connection that Bishop had created along these river communities during his voyage.
— Tracy Fish, Reno, Nevada
In the series Unspoken Places I attempt to explore uncharted urban and peri-urban aspects of contemporary reality, with a glimpse that is mainly personal. Thus, the photographic depiction of the Attica landscape is neither objective nor representative. We encounter these landscapes quite often, we even cross them on a daily basis and yet rarely do we observe or take pictures of them. They are neither beautiful, ugly and definitely nor photogenic. They are not destined to be seen, except maybe as a blur through the car window or like a background to our daily routine. These places have no name and reveal no secrets to passers-by, they do not tell their story to “strangers.” These places are not tourist attractions. They owe their existence to human activities or failures; they owe their charm to their deafening silence and contradictions.
They constitute an alternative aspect of my country, the place where I exist.
Babis Kougemitros, Athens, Greece