Innova 215

Trimix (CD/DVD)

Compiled by TJ Norris


The contemporary city landscape is an alchemical crossroads.Existing

visual and literal puns in the urban back alleys, its industrial

cracks and crevices, make public space conceptually finite, and

provides an off the beaten track place to explore. My current

photographic work, under the ongoing Tribryd umbrella (a 3-part

installation series), is something of a balancing point that

incorporates images of the city as "evidence" of unseenmacrocosmic

worlds in our midst. The uninhabited, shipyards and warehouse-lined

streets in the Pacific Northwest are some of the last of theirkind in

the U.S. Much of this version of industry slowly shifting to amodel

of outsourcing labor and production has all but evaporated,leaving

emptiness and hope (gentrification) in its wake.


In the past five years I have witnessed much change along the

Willamette River as it snakes through the central core of the city

into new neighborhoods like South Waterfront.   As it parts the

compass on its two sides, the mighty body of water provides afront

for contemporary surveyors to find old and new layered evidence, a

history of change. I've photographed under the many bridges, into

train depots and many in-between spaces to unlock the secrets androar

of their giant silence.


The resulting images have gone through many manifestations, someas

relational diptychs and others in a spherical (Zen) state. Throughthe

process of editing I have found that I am also mimicking thecamera's

lens with what I see, the loss of the edge provides a frameless,

infinite way of looking at the surface.  Looking at our neighborhoods,

painted over, worn, aged, by hand and mother-nature I only see the

gemlike quality in the scratches to the surface.  The way light hits

old metal and wooden structures, often covered in taggedmessaging,

has an unconscious flavor of Dadaism built-in. I've discovered the

presence of gesture as a constant in this ongoing work. Quietspaces

with often emitting trace elements (residues) of the mark of timeand

man are left behind. I capture timeaged objects and architecture

captured as they only hint at a former state of grace. Theseimprints

of the past, thus create a new visual language in perception.


While developing this new work I collaborated with a series of

international sound composers. These are sounds I listen to in the

field as I am working. Their contribution acts as a sensory

inspiration while on the outskirts of town. These originalsoundtracks

guided me through the streets and spaces, through the impulsive

listening/looking process. This historic capture of moments, markings

and mystery have a long lineage and have informed my aesthetic

(psychic) sensibility.


Shooting images of desolate lots, abandoned spaces and virtual

emptiness allows me to discover the alarming beauty in space as

'other' - the rapidly changing landscape. In both the way naturehas

changed the elemental nature of metal, stone, glass and wood,artists

and others have circumvented a sense of societal fast-forwardness.  In

the markings of those communicating with tagging and other formsof

grafitti the face of our urban setting has been changed since the

1960s, and only since the 1980s has it been seen as true 'art' in

works by those from Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat totoday's

ongoing Superflat movement. This body of work is intended to beviewed

as both cerebral and/or subliminal. Presenting these less traveled

spaces as objects and images in a gallery context displaces them,in

essence repurposing their unintentional place, giving them a new

lustre. These are temporary documents, forming a non-linear urban

language speaking through scratchy lines, rough textures and faded

colors with one constant, an ever-shifting archeology in ourstreets.

They act as a peephole into the unconscious.        -TJ Norris