I'm not sure I've got anywhere with previous efforts this year when coming home with hundreds of frames hoping to merge them into something that has some vitality and wavers between specificity and a rippling patina. Anyway, today, after two hours circling my way around stacks of metal (rebar, and I-beam), a mountain of wood and one of concrete rubble, I have a further stash of 650 frames to look through. I keep having a feeling it's the use of lines that is the key as subtle colours seem to just blend into a soup.
The positioning of heavy machinery, parked up immediately just inside the gate to stop thieves trucking out the salvage metal, has meant not being able to make any meaningful progress, image-wise, from that viewpoint where I first started shooting last January. But today I wanted to try something else with montaging so went back in. Once inside I could now stand on the other side of the excavator, a 'just inside the gate' workaround.
The 19 acre site has been almost entirely flattened now, no buildings have been left standing. Presumably it will only continue to get flatter as metal, hardcore and wood are taken away, and at some point, maybe years from now, the new things probably not yet drawn or thought about, will start to appear, and take the place of what once was here.
Back to the demolition site after 10 days away, to keep the series over time running on. As seems to be the way on sites stuff is moved around rather than away, so the view through the hole in the gate doesn't look much different, even with a piece of heavy plant parked up blocking much of the panormic line of sight as usual.
This is taken stood back a short distance of the outer gate area. I've been getting a bit of an immune reaction while visting the last half dozen times, with burnt eyes and a streaming nose, worse when there is a wind blowing dust up. But this evening the sky was a shining blue and the air beautifully still.
I woke up this morning with the crash still reverberating through the air of what sounded like one of the last bits of building still standing (an office block) having been brought down at the local demolition site nearby. After breakfast I detoured my cycle ride in to work to take a look. The gates were open and parked outside were several cars with doors left open as workers in high-vis clothing stopped work for their elevenses.
As there's been a truck left parked behind this gate recently (every time they knock off and lock up) it meant that it was only during working hours that I was ever going to get a panorama of the view across the site, to continue the series of weekly images that I've been taking for several months. It's been blocked for a long time. Seeing all the workers I nearly abandoned the plan for another day when I could be more circumspect, but nah, rolled my bike up against a fence and just set myself up in the middle of the open gateway. It definitely …
I've been going through a John Divola deep dive appreciation over the last year or two, and this interview is one of the best out there. Judged on what people and museums seem prepared to pay for his work at auction (comparatively not that much) he's acknowledged but simultaneously over-looked. I can think of a few reasons why that might be the case but as time has gone by for me personally I finally eventually realised he really is up there as one of the all time greats.
Check him out. In this Saint-Lucy interview here he has so many straightforwardly funny, honest and interesting things to say about photography.
He strikes me as a modest artist, and this image from his 'As Far As I Could Get' series is how I imagine he would react to meeting anyone going too far into fan mode, which would probably be me if I met him.
Flat, late afternoon light, after rainfall. I wanted a second go at the metal montage thing I tried one day a couple of months ago. The easy way in to the demolition site found some time ago (and which I've only used once) is a fair walk away being on the far side of the nine acre plot but no clambering over fences involved, just round the back of a gym and stumbling over a pile of collapsed brickwork.
The last time was in bright sunlight which I wanted to try for more interest with the extra complication of hard shadows. but thinking about it maybe soft, low contrast light would help frames merge together down into nothing much and make very solid materials become barely indistinguishable, just a soup. Having said that I shot 600+ frames of the various stacks of metal salvage trying to remember to make variations, for composing across multiple images; putting lines and shapes into different parts of the frame and orienting them across and in and out in alternative ways. That migh…