When Light is Put Away
When Light is Put Away evolved from my fascination with astronomy and the vastness of the night sky. I spent my nights photographing the heavens in an attempt to satisfy my longing to access worlds lightyears away. In the midst of this process, I discovered that the artificially lit nocturnal world began to mimic the imagery I was aiming to make with my photographs of the night sky. The darkness of night created a celestial landscape that enabled a transportation to an ambiguous time and place, a curious world peculiarly rooted in the familiar.
Imagery of the heavens is established in our vernacular, allowing a blurring between science and fantasy. Expectations of celestial imagery are highly informed through interpretations by science-fiction media in addition to scientific data. These expectations have been enhanced with the genre of films and novels referred to as “hard science fiction.” These films and novels portray imagery that aim to be scientifically plausible and credible. Whether or not the information is factual, it feeds in to the expectations of public perception.
One of the most popular premises in hard science fiction is our ability to cultivate civilizations on other planets. While these ideas may have originated in fictitious dialogues, they also occupy conversations in the scientific community. Scientists continue to reveal the declination of our climate, with human influence closing in on irreversible. With these continued studies, science and popular culture have furthered their fascinations with predictions of the fate of our own planet and the potential of civilizations on others. What was once a premonition of hypothetical means has become a palpable concern.
With this urgency and dialogue in mind, these photographs create a world that embodies a planet rooted both in reality and fantasy. The world rendered is one of the naturally uncanny and enchanting, a seductive landscape in which the line between present-day Earth and prospective otherworldly terrain is blurred. The images further depict an isolated world caught amid a semblance of construction and disrepair. Man-made structures are stripped of their contexts and highlight their own obsolescence. Using the visual language of both astronomy and fantasy, this new landscape adopts contradictions of a virulent and destructive sense of beauty, revealing traces of natural resilience in spite of an unknown posterity.
I began photographing my younger brother, Ryan, on his 11th birthday. He was born when I was eleven years old, and with working parents, I became his caretaker. At a young age, that responsibility hastened my own necessary maturity from boyhood to adolescence, fostering a relationship between us that was more complicated than just brothers.
On Ryan’s eleventh birthday, I began to notice traits in him that I also possessed when I was his age. I began to reflect on the origins of our relationship, and this photographing lead to an exploration of Ryan, myself, and boyhood on the blurred line of adolescence. These images are a documentation of my brother and the landscape in which he’s maturing, yet they also contain my own reckoning with his growing up and the nostalgia of youth that accompanies it.
Walking Still is a reflection on the meditative form of walking through which I experience the natural world that surrounds me. It is an exploration of the sensation of passing through space, transforming the ordinary into something wonderful. With the only context of place being a hand-carved wooden sign reading “Little River”, the context of the spaces photographed remain unidentifiable, allowing the viewer to get lost inside the world created and experience these places for themselves. Rather than having geographic specificity, the images create a mindset and manner of exploration that invites full captivation and involvement with the familiarly quiet and still spaces passed through so often.