What’s up everyone who reads this, hopefully there’s more than just Ale, Ryan, and Jo reading this =)
Just kidding. I just wanted to post something that may or may not make sense but feel like I need to write it out, and what better way than by blogging it and soliciting ideas from you all.
So…some of ya’ll have seen my photo posts on the various photo social network apps and flickr, tumblr, etc etc…a lot of my coverage especially in the last 3 months of 2011 was about Occupy. A lot of is because of the inspiring work from a WHOLE mess of other mobile photographers locally mainly Charles (@livinlush) and Dixon (@dixonhamby) and around the world, Rich (@richnyc), Derek (@fragileglass), Sam (@whittiersam) and many others…and of course the STRONG support from Allison (@wunderali) I’m not going to delve too much into Occupy and why I felt like I needed/wanted to cover it in this post (Sam, Allison, and a few others are actually trying to generate an article that is collective regarding Occupy and our coverage of it).
But recently, no thanks to Ryan (@rcoleman), Tony (@tonydetroit), Jim (@monkone), and Luke (@agentluke), I’ve gotten bit by the abandonment bug. I’ve always admired their work in capturing these places that most of us take for granted. Buildings, houses, vehicles…any and all of it…if it is abandoned…these guys have covered it. Again, I’ve always admired it. Luke would always send me shots that he took when he and Jim would go shoot together. These cats are straight gangsta. Not only are they on top of buildings, or on wood beams that would crumble at too much weight, or climbing through rubble that would scare anyone due to danger…but they kept doing it. Luke kept sending me pictures. Process pictures of how they got there, what they did to get there, what they saw. AMAZING stuff that I was like, “WOW thats some really cool shit!” I may have shot a few things that were considered abandoned. A house here and there but never did I think of trying to break and enter this dwelling to catch the full story.
It’s funny. Let me give you a side story about it. I met Ryan on a photowalk in Seattle where we walked up and down a part of Seattle that for many others suited them for photo sharing. Ryan and I was kind of out of the loop because we didn’t have…well let me backtrack…we didn’t see the same things that they saw. They saw the beauty in the walk and their images were AMAZING. I talked to Ryan about it, and although the walk was for socializing with other mobile photographers, we didn’t feel the urge to take many shots or post them. He asked me about my shooting preferences. I asked him about his. He loved shooting abandoned things. I loved shooting occupy…things. Jokingly, I said to him, “You got abandonement issues.” Straight faced he said, “You’re a Jerk!” To this day I still don’t know if he really has abandonment issues but I didn’t want to pry to much to increase my “jerk-ness.”
Well before he left we shot up The Moran School on Bainbridge Island. It was amazing. Imagining the stories that lay within those walls. Conjuring up ideas of who walked through those hallways. Who occupied this building after it started to decay? Why was it left like this? Why would someone occupy this decrepit building? See my previous post for more of the story but for right now, I have to say, I too now have abandonment issues.
How do I see it tied into my coverage of Occupy? (Even though I said I’m going to write it in a different article…I’ll give you a heads up in this one) I LOVE capturing people. Street photography, documentary photography…whatever you want to call it…I LOVE IT. Candid, straight up NINJA style…there’s a rush. SO throw in a cause…a CAUSE…are you kidding me…I’m all over it. Occupy is a movement with a cause. It’s global. It’s gritty, boring at times, scary at times, dangerous at times. There’s anger, theres sadness, there’s despair, there’s happiness, there’s unity, there’s disarray. There’s cops and people, people and cops. Both at odds, but both representing the people. It’s craziness. There’s children, adults, teens, women, men…and although in Seattle it’s not fully represented by people of color…there is a whole mess of people involved. So…there’s a CAUSE.
Occupation means: any activity in which a person is engaged, possession, settlement, or use of land or property, the act of occupying, the state of being occupied….
Abandonment means: to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; to give up; discontinue; withdraw from, to give up the control of…
So many correlations that come from this.
For me…it’s the feeling of OCCUPYING an ABANDONED structure…I can also say that Ryan gave me abandonment issues much like Occupy has…because at the same time…they help me find a subject matter in Occupy and in Abandonment…then left at the same time. Ryan moved to Denver and so I’m on fire trying to find new places that are abandoned and left to forget. NOT only am I looking for things to shoot and trying to document the history of it…but I’m trying to find a partner to watch my back…it’s a scary thing to go into an abandoned building sometimes…you never know whats on the other side of that door/ wall…and then…and THEN…Occupy is in hibernation for the most part because of the weather/ cold. The protesters all have been displaced. They all have been abandoned by those who were good with it when it was warmer outside.
It leaves meaning for me. If you get abandoned, go occupy something. When you occupy something, you may have abandoned something.
What do you all think? I’m interested to see what ya’ll think!