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.


  1. Love the one with the pole, and moon behind it. Very unique.

  2. You're really capturing the atmosphere in each photo. This post is a good example of our history of industrialism. Your post "The long exposure landscape" is very beautiful! Keep up the good work!! :)

  3. Excellent words to go with great photographs...! I'm glad you called me to join you, because that place was really cool!

  4. Great shots Jeff! I'm going to post some of my canal walk photos next week and I'd love your feedback. My favorite is #3 above.