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.
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.
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
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.
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.