A continuation of a brief series on phones from this decommissioned military facility.
Nota bene the orange sticker.
Had the Bauhaus put on puppet shows, they might have looked something like this.
Sometimes we come across scenes which appear to be a clamorous fall taking place before our eyes, and yet are mute and still. The ice here only serves to heighten the sense that the entirety is merely frozen, and will crash when we leave the room.
There are many fine urbexers out there who take an active interest in documenting the places they visit, either to highlight an aspect of local history or to help preserve them. While I may be sometimes intrigued by that aspect of urbex, I make no bones that my primary interest in this genre of photography is primarily aesthetic. Sometimes only knowing little about the place you’re seeing heightens the mystery, perhaps makes the story a photo tells a bit more universal. I tend to take a “non-attachment” to the sites we shoot; I find it’s a bit dishonest to bemoan their further decay when that is the very process that allowed us to shoot the pictures we did.
That said, I can’t help be a bit saddened when a site I cut my teeth on gets very rapidly demolished. The Riverdale granary was a massive edifice of metal, rust, concrete and ivy. As of our last visit, only the slim north building still stands. Soon, it too will be gone. It should be remembered that impermanence makes all things possible.
This former hotel was once the only place in town where alcohol was available, but only to its guests. Pullman’s employees, however, were barred from the hotel or its bar and restaurant. The industrialist did not believe his workers should drink. As noted in the previous post, George Pullman was a touch paternalistic.
A shot from downtown LA. In this photo I tried to channel a bit of the style of Meho, who is a photographer you should check out.
A rotted out section of floor gapes open
Factory under demolition
South Side Chicago
Means of escape are provided, should misadventure occur.
-slightly modified quote from Ernst Fischer
As a younger man, I played a lot of basketball. Sometimes I would go by myself down to the gym, get on a pick up team, and play. Other times I would have three or four friends with me, a ready made team, and we’d take on whoever we could find. Certain courts or gyms in the area were known to have great competition; we’d seek those out when we could. It was a scene similar to Rucker Park, though on a much lower level, of course.
Whatever the level of play was, the competition was always fierce. The informal rules were that the winning team would stay on the court and play the next challengers; if you were lucky enough to be on a solid team that day, you’d play for a couple hours straight. If, however, you stepped on the court and recognized immediately that you were outclassed, it could be a quick and humbling game.
And so it was when after the Idiot Photographer and I decided on a Saturday trip to the zoo, I knew I was going to be in for a photographic drubbing. My friend and co-blogger knows animals like few others. Animal behavior is mysterious to most of us, but to her, it is clear as day. It really is kind of awesome. And her understanding of animals informs her photography. She seems to know how to wait for a good picture, whereas I wish someone would taxidermy the damned critters so they’d stop moving and I could get my shot.
IP has already posted a couple shots from our trip to Brookfield Zoo, now it’s my turn. It’ll feel a bit like chucking up bricks on the court, but you still have to play the game.
From a little school in Gary, Indiana.
Three B&W shots from an abandoned theater in southern Wisconsin, including a monochrome take on a shaft of light previously photographed from a different angle in color.
When I was asked to join this blog almost two years ago by my friend the Idiot Photographer, I had grand ideas about presenting my pictures as a curator might thoughtfully arrange pieces in a museum.
“Here,” I could say, “is the Gary collection of the mid-2000’s. Note the artist’s increasing usage of ‘drowned light’ as an aesthetic choice.”
“In this piece, the artist coyly asks us whether the concept of keeping photographs in focus is a valid idea, or whether our concepts of sharpness are really just social constructs.”
“The choice of a monochrome color palette alerts us that this must be an august work of art.”
It would all sound very learned and fancy, and, at the very least, give the impression that I knew a damn thing about what I was doing.
As it is, I’m getting more comfortable (lazy?) about just putting a photograph up with little fanfare. Hopefully, it speaks for itself. So, here’s a couple shots from various locations which I happened to be working on tonight.
I waited for the lift for some time, but finally decided to take the stairs. Damn elevator operators must be on strike again. Thanks, Obama.
The Idiot Photographer has for some time been posting shots from our recent trip to Ohio, so it’s up to me to catch up. We spent most of our time in Cleveland, so it’s fitting we begin here. Below: Carnegie Avenue bridge over the Cuyahoga River.
Again, from the former headquarters of Sears, Roebuck and Co.
More from Sears, Roebuck and Co.’s westside headquarters.
In many places, all natural light was carefully sealed off. These windows had been painted black, then drywalled over.
After being in want of material for a while, a photographic drought if you will, I am now beating back a flood. I am leaving the Idiot Photographer to lead the way into Cleveland, for as much as I have to share from this trip just ended, I have unfinished business in Chicago to wrap up. And so, we return to the former headquarters of Sears, Roebuck and Co. on the city’s west side.
The campus was not a typical abandonment, in that it wasn’t a case of a business going under. Sears was a thriving business, and moving to a gleaming new facility. Perhaps because it was an organized move there is little left in the buildings in the way of interesting furniture or equipment; instead, it is floors and floors of open halls and office space. There are interesting focal points, but they have to be found. But I’ll start with halls and open spaces. I was B&W heavy in this batch, the original colors being a bit garish for my taste.
We know not what it did, save that it seemed to have its own room on the top floor of the building we were in a week ago. Dials labeled “upper radiation” and “gallons per minute” as well as myriad switches and knobs covered nearly its entirety. Whatever it did may be moot, but what it does still is make a hell of an impression.
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming
You were expecting maybe subtlety?
A bit of German Expressionism is good for the soul.