Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canal Crawl: Night shots

I am taking a creative break from reading the Notes On Color by Paul Gauguin to post a few photos from last nights crawl through the labyrinth known as Holyoke's Canal System. It was an eery and ominous feeling to be standing in the canal at a later hour. The moon kept peering through the slow moving clouds. The stench of rotten mussels floated over the murky mud. Every thick step conjured up the smell leaving behind a foot print to distinguish are tracks. To an observant viewer, one standing in daylight, they would see a pattern of observation. A study of landscape and structure. It was other worldly. Characteristics reminiscent of another place in time, another place of origin. Standing there, we were poised in the creation and formation of a piece of history. The water that channeled through this network of vast industrialism fueled an economic boom in its hay day. Now, now it is a decorative piece left as a reminder of what our country was build on. The industrialization of America.

What remains in these canals are objects of disembodiment. The remains of a culture and society are being washed over with the contemporary waters of a new breath of life for the city to inhale. Remains such as a bike, so metaphorical in the sense that a bike is a mode of transportation, as a canal is a mode of transportation and delivery. Rusted away are the spokes of a rim used to move the wheels of transportation. Similar in a way, to the frozen in place turbines used to flow water through the buildings to propel forward a mode of production. The forgotten objects, the objects of memory and emotion, are now tangible to new landscape. Underneath the flowing water is history. History of industrialism, history of culture and society, history of memory and emotion. A history of photography embodied and contextualized in an aesthetic approach to capturing a glimpse of a constructed landscaped. With each passing year, our objects of undesirability are fossilized with the past, awaiting a society to rediscover our industrialization and mode of discourse.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Empty Canal plus more

Over the weekend the canals were drained. Some construction has been taking place as they sit dormant of water. I took a few minutes out of my Saturday schedule to explore the canal outside the studio. I found some interesting things, as seen below.

You never really see fish laying in the canal, but mussels and these little characters. I found a hermit crab, which I didnt know lived in the canals. It seems there is a thriving eco-system that lies underneath the flowing water.

X Marks the spot...

This little questionable creature has been dubbed, Roger the Canal Creature. It had pre-historic qualities about it and made for an interesting subject to photograph.

The two most common objects I see in the canals when they are drained are drivers licenses and shopping carts. However, in front of the playground there are a number of bikes. It begs to question, are the bikes evidence of theft? And, if so, is it related to kids stealing them to ride to the park? I have never seen so many bikes in one spot. And to put any stereotypical debate a side, there were no cars, no bodies, not bones, corpses, just rusted out bikes and shopping cars.

Building shots: Inside near our shooting space.

Installation by Dean Nimmer

From August till now our studio has been very busy. We have increased our work load by a substantial amount. We have been shooting senior portraits and have been enjoying it very much. This work load includes the Exhibitions at Open Square.

Tonight I did a set of portraits of a car and its owner.