Practice examines how the concept of place has moved far beyond a geometrical notion. Place can now offer us gifts of visual and textual metaphor to understand unconscious ideas about our sense of self and to deepen our understanding of our relationship with the external world. My work explores the nature of place, and asks whether there is more to place than a geographical location. It attempts to discover the role that transience, presence and memory play in this formation of place and the impact on our sense of self.
— Will Davis, Wivenhoe, United Kingdom
We use publicly available embedded geotag information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of these photographs is taken on the site of the update and paired with the originating text. Our act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.
— Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman, Baltimore, Maryland & Athens, Georgia, USA
Initially these images were part of a five-year investigation into the forests of the world. But over time they made me look differently, because behind their great complexity and careful composition lies a secret.
Photographically I have always been interested in time and how we perceive change. These images illustrate the change of light, the changing direction of the wind and the force of the weather. We see a forest and imagine adventures — dream of discoveries, secret paths, laughter, or playing hide and seek. Yet sometimes a small piece of information dramatically influences the way we perceive, the way we look.
When I took these images I had no intention of documenting a crime scene, but when I unintentionally did, the forest transformed into a dark, mysterious place that spoke of hiding under rocks and escaping the country, of police searches, sirens and helicopters.
In its silence I thought of loss, heartbreak, and the crime committed by a friend — father of a little girl and partner to my best friend.
— Heidi Romano, Maldon, Australia
The End of Summer is a series of photographs taken in or around White Lake, Michigan, where I spent my childhood summers staying with my grandparents. These photos are a visual commentary about what it is like to go back to a place that holds significant memories and experiences. Although it is often said that one can never truly “go home,” I wanted to go back to try to capture some of the memories that shaped me and still serve as inspiration to me. I wanted to capture the bright green trees, the ear-ringing silence, the pitch-black nights, the warm lake water, and the freshly-cut grass. Although many of these memories do not have a direct visual representation, this body of work focuses on small details to evoke a sense of place.
— Stephanie Penn, Alameda, California, USA
Aquatic City is built by liquid images from Barcelona, Spain. Reflections from buildings,
people, vegetation and different objects projected on urban puddles.
Facing up to the panoramic touristic tour, sharped and stereotyped, the citizens of the city need to go all over the distorted map of the
It is said that after the storm comes the calm, but the evidence of the
passage of the rain is the puddles, ephemeral mirrors where the
corners of the city are housed until the evaporation and absorption
make them disappear.
This reading of the contemporary Barcelona is biased, diffuse and
aimed at dissipation, as is her image on the surface of a puddle.
— Godo Chillida, Barcelona, Spain
I’m giving away a copy of my Parking Garages book to the person who makes the most interesting suggestion of artists to add to my blogroll, on the right side of the blog homepage. These are artists whose work I like, but whom I may not have featured with a photo. They are listed under the heading “New Work I Like.” Please scroll down the blogroll to see if the artist you’re thinking of is already listed.
Please send an email with your suggestions to me at: [email protected]. It would be great if you included the artists’ websites.
This contest will run until noon Eastern Standard Time on Monday, August 20.
You may leaf through the prize online here: Parking Garages
Addendum, on Aug. 20: I’ve picked a winner, Thomas Kellner, who introduced me to the gloomy, mysterious work of Marc Baruth. Thanks, Thomas, and congratulations !!
The photographic series In Vicinity depicts new suburban development areas near Tallinn, Estonia. Shot entirely within a five-kilometer radius of where I grew up, I have tried to document the results of the vast change from former agricultural farming lands to new housing developments in the 2000’s. I believe that upon close inspection this deformed landscape can reveal something essential about the culture that produces the desire to live this way. The recent economic downfall has, of course, left some people’s desires unfulfilled.
— Paul Kuimet, Tallinn, Estonia
Antiscapes are landscapes in anti-natural spaces but where you can recognize or imagine some natural elements almost without human presence. You can see solitude and imagine “what if those building were mountains?”
These places call my attention. I imagine a postcard, I see a snow cave where there was a car workshop, a lake where there was a puddle.
It’s some kind of double nostalgia because I’m imagining nature over urban-decay scenarios.
— Fran Simó, Barcelona, Spain
Spanish Architect Ignasi de Solà-Morales coined the term terrain vague to describe the abandoned, ambiguous, or marginalized pieces of land within an urban landscape that stand in contrast to the otherwise cohesive, definable organization of the city. These kinds of spaces – abandoned lots, post-industrial sites, bridge underpasses, for example – define the character of a cityscape through these pauses and stutters of visual dissonance.
My intention with this work is to expand on Morales’s notion to use it with a bit of poetic license in order to describe a sense of longing I find so prevalent in these Central Maine landscapes. The empty storefronts, the spaces between modest homes, and vacant lots are for me filled with the beauty, despair, yearning, and disappointment that define this time in history in many places throughout the world.
In a sense these photographs are anti-scenic; they do not present us with beautiful or idyllic spaces. The images are filled with a sense of passage, decline as well as the ordinariness of utility pared down to the basics: the piling of soil, the scraping of the earth, the fencing in of property. Some of them are layered so that trees and brambles hide a home, a human story. These are the spaces we barely bother to attend to visually, all the more reason to give them further attention.
— Gary Green, Waterville, Maine, USA
Every object stops functioning, is doomed either way: it is transformed to something futile or rubbish or becomes poetically significant. We are surrounded by electrical poles which connect wires and make telecommunicating possible. This leads them to act invisible and become banal; the actual essence of Pragmatism and Functionalism. It also removes the function of “things,” like words being devastated by meanings in routine language. Electrical poles do not work without wires though. They can both present deficit and castration. With eliminating function and attaining dependency, they turn into autonomous objects and reveal a total brand new meaning. (At this very point, a poetic order does not connect to elegant elements, it instead gets benefit from coarse and rough objects like electrical poles). So what is this brand new meaning? Facing cemented silhouettes and humpy wireless poles, you feel like they are absolutely lost looking for new identity. Sometimes in a poor situation and some other time with a threatening pose. What meaning truly haunts these objects in our minds? Disconnecting the wires, do they intend to display a situation after the catastrophe? Or warn us against the ghastly Real Order? Or stimulate our pity looking at them?
— Alireza Mirzaee, Urmia, Iran