My photographic practice is a study of urban environments and how humans create and are creative in these spaces. The viewer is presented with images of things seen every day but not taken notice of. By photographing objects of interest, moments of chance and beauty, and how people live I aim to create a visual map of the urban experience.
While researching a project, I came across Guy Debord’s concept of the dérive, which is ‘an attempt at analysis of the totality of everyday life through passive movement through space. Dérives involve playful-constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of a journey or a stroll’. (‘Theory of the Dérive’, Guy Debord, 1958). This concept fits my work perfectly, not only in the way I shoot but also in how I would like to lead photographic walking tours.
My years of shooting urban landscape, walking the streets of home and foreign cities have honed my vision, given me an experienced eye. The anonymous viewpoint allows the viewer entry into the work because they have the familiarity to the environment but are presented with things that go unnoticed. My projects are meant to create dialogue as well as answer questions, to get the viewer to be more ‘present’ in their surroundings and think about how they perceive their environment.
Another interest of mine is the photographic portrait. While I consider the images taken during walks to be a portrait of a city, I am also becoming interested in photographing people again and am currently working on a portrait project.
All in all, my practice in the past years has evolved into more involvement in public art and social engagement – taking the work out of the galleries and directly to the public, challenging the viewer to be an active participant in the work rather than a passive viewer. A past exhibition also included the opportunity for the public to display their photos with mine as well as participate in a walk. Photo walking tours, postering, leaving photographs around downtown, and blogging are the methods I’ve used to engage the public.