After all, deception and lying are necessary to smoothing the ways of social life.
The work in this portfolio speaks to all our vulnerabilities and the ways we attempt to mask them through the presentation of places in which we reside, both physically and emotionally. Specifically, this work questions and counters conventional conveyances of place throughout mainstream and social media.
Fusion and Fragmentation
A grid is a structure that can---whether used in the schemata for a city, as a way to organize an archeological dig, or as a communications structure--- help organize and unify. Often, the layout of a town is based on a grid and only changes when confronted with irregular topography. An archeological dig is also mapped out into a grid, with each section unearthed meticulously and independently of another. We commonly hear the term communication grid, which refers to our reliance upon digital technology to help carry our words across the ether. Yes, it can be effective to use a grid in these three instances but, through the work exhibited here, I make the argument that a grid can also alienate, segregate, confuse and further remove us from our initial intentions.
These photographs examine the effects of the human hand on our western landscape, an examination that has been, admittedly, undertaken by numerous photographers past and present. I look toward the work of William Henry Jackson, Robert Adams, and Emmet Gowin for inspiration. Personally, I perceive this landscape as pertaining to our decisions regarding residential, civic, and environmental development. As a result of such planning, the images themselves speak to a feeling of absence, neglect, or alienation. Simultaneously, the images hopefully cause us to pause at the beauty of the landscape, in the manner of the aforementioned photographers, at its perpetual juncture of changes.
Vestiges and Place
Upon first visiting a particular area with my camera---be it neighborhood, town, city, or natural environment---I intend to capture a sense of place by taking a multitude of photographs. Yet, when presenting this work I often limit myself to conveying a given place with just three images. Occasionally, I will group three images together not by place but because they elicit similar feelings for me of something that once was. This portfolio includes both the former and the latter.
This body of work stems from an earlier investigation of traits that were passed through three generations of my family in light of calamitous events. I have since altered how I view these personal events and the resulting emotions. With this work, I strive to address collective themes regarding familial communication, biology and personal myths through a pluralistic approach to photography. My own experiences are now simply used as reference points. By stressing collective themes, I attempt to more readily engage the viewer with my imagery. Thus, this artwork is no longer a conversation concerning three generations or parties; it is now a four-way exchange, a tetralogue.
The photographs in this portfolio have been selected from my first decade of taking pictures. Though there may be similarities between some of the images, this work is merely a record of attempts to develop my own photographic direction, while under the influence of photographers such as Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand and Robert Adams. If anything, this work has served as a stepping-stone for my artistic interests, as I continue to be rooted in imagery that utilizes photographic processes and/or is derived from photographs themselves.