Bill Lane

© Bill Lane

The Older Industrial Parks Near Newport, Victoria

This is an extended dialogue with the late Lewis Baltz’s seminal 1974 work The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California. The result offers images that transform Baltz’s stark Californian minimalism into an ethereal antipodean nocturne.

Baltz’s spartan boxes manifest a common American theme: the promised land defiled. He was interested in “the phenomena of the place. The effect of this kind of urbanism… What kind of new world was being built here?”

Australian landscape rarely elicits such blatant anger. Our notion of landscape seems very different. Baltz documents the short-term impact of money while my project explores the mildly subversive impact of people after the event (more erosion than explosion).

My aims and Baltz’s may seem different and yet they are very much connected. Both projects are deeply rooted in an exploration of place and time, there and here, then and now, Baltz and Lane.

— Bill Lane, Melbourne, Australia

© Bill Lane

© Bill Lane3

Bill Guy

For those who live in the city of Chicago, the parks provide the only semblance of nature that is easily accessible. I began photographing with the intent of describing the parks as a landscape. Later, I began to consider this question: “Can the city parks yield the same meaning, as say, Walden Pond did for Henry David Thoreau?”

My final conclusion is that though the parks are still quite urban, in both the landscape and the psychological experience of the person visiting them, they play an integral and important part in the lives of city dwellers.

Thoreau says that “in wildness is the salvation of the world.” My photographs provide a framework, but I want to leave it up to the viewer to decide if this “salvation” is possible within the concrete confines of the city.

— Bill Guy