Monday, May 22, 2006

Lost and Found places...

Burned car, south of town in the DMZ by the river.
Party area being poisoned by trash and violence.
A wonderful and terrible place to photograph. I am
drawn to these kinds of 'blasted' sites.

I did my entire BFA show as a documentary project,
large black and white photos of abandoned buildings
interspersed with mysterious, poetic objects I'd found
in and around the buildings. A good show, I still think
ten years later.
Note: no one buys this kind of photography.
Too grim for the average art buyer.

My love of abandoned places is very similar to
my love of any kind of post-apocalypse fiction writing.

"Into the Forest" by Jean Hegland is excellent. Two
sisters surviving alone after some kind of societal/world
breakdown or catastrophe which is hinted at but
never fully explained---and doesn't need to be.

Of course, there is the famous, "The Stand" by
Stephen King---most of the population of the earth
is killed off by a super-flu...good and evil battle
it out across the empty highways of America.

"Blood Music" by Greg Bear. A master hard-sci-fi
writer who is an expert at beginning his novels with
the microscopic and ending in the macro. Human
beings turn into flappy brown sheets of genetic material
during the long, strange course of the story. Totally nifty!

"Housekeeping" by Marilynne Robinson is more along
the lines of apocalypse on a personal scale. The most
hautingly beautiful book I have ever read in my
ENTIRE life....and I read prodigiously.

Just finished, "The Rift" by Walter John Williams.
A really good read---ends rather abruptly, but a
good storyteller. He wrote a great short story, "The
Green Leopard Plague" in which a not-to-distant
new kind of human detective researches how the
human race crossed it's event horizon.

Also a short story, "Dear Abbey" by Terry Bisson.
Time travel and the last human. Simple and
gorgeously written. Pared down to it's essential
details. How can ten billion years of history be
written into a 20 page story? I loved it.

Know of any good books in this genre? Tell me! Posted by Picasa


Lili of the Valley said...

My favorite sci-fi story (although I can't remember the title or author so it's not much help to your reading list) is a short story about this family living on earth but there has been a major ice age which has frozen everything. Some how this family has survived because of their scientist father and they melt snow for the oxygen in their little shelter. The narrator talks about walking through the frozen city they're in and looking at people who, in trying to keep warm, huddled together in their beds. I think about that image a lot for some reason.

bugheart said...

i always think of you
when i think of
the book housekeeping.
it is a wonderful book.
your images of the abandoned
and delapitated
had a profound effect
on my view of photography
but i was too poor
to buy all your pieces.
people just want to buy
art that matches
the couch
most of the time.