conTEXTUAL ignorance

Project

it is late august

you and your sister are young and enjoying wasted hours

ringing the doorbells of neighbors and sprinting away, laughing at the minor inconvenience you have caused

as you frantically dash from a far more bothered neighbor than one could have ever imagined, your pants get

caught and tear on a poorly mended fence.

your sister helps you rip yourself free and you escape to the safety of your garage

frantically the two of you bury the pants and swear to never reveal your misdeeds

as you grow in and out of your neighborhood the sight of the poorly mended fence teases you with a warm sweet

sensation of carelessness

as you navigate early adulthood, you inherently look for the fence on your visits home, a thing stuck out of time

then one day

you drive to what was once your only “home” and the fence is fixed

your heart sinks

and you know exactly why

*more or less this is kind of what this book is about

XX

“what you doing this summer?”  “just chillin”
“what you doing this summer?” “just chillin”
kicking rocks by the trash compactor chit chatting with your manager as they finish their cigarette break
kicking rocks by the trash compactor chit chatting with your manager as they finish their cigarette break
“sorry sir, you gotta use the west entrance” “huh, what the hell, why” “they are filming a scene for an 80’s themed business drama in the lobby until Thursday or Friday”
“sorry sir, you gotta use the west entrance” “huh, what the hell, why” “they are filming a scene for an 80’s themed business drama in the lobby until Thursday or Friday”

Interview

What prompted the project?

This project was life change. I found myself in a new chapter, in a new place, and not only somewhat scared but incredibly curious. The photographs are a product of aimless wanderings I would indulge in on my off hours, trying to see all that I could and fill empty time. As I went through the photos, back in my new apartment, the compositions would bring back rich memories and imaginaries that I would start to jot down alongside them.

What informed the format and medium of the book?

As the collection grew larger and temperatures dropped my wanderings began to transition into maintenance. I would write and play with the combinations of color, texture, and text. Eventually I had a small showing of the work at my office and upon seeing it all together and enjoying it with my colleagues I felt its best existence was to be a sort of coffee table / light reading book. Something that could be easily accessed and flipped through, it seemed to be the most natural transition for what was already there.

What role do both literature and photography hold within your approach to architecture?

I believe literature and photography to be the greatest abstracters of both proposed and living work. The power of these two is in no way minute, they have the ability to blossom a project that should never see the light of day and to bury one that is of the highest quality. For me personally however, the concern and use of these things is not a matter of somethings success or failure. They cause me to linger. To understand the implication of what I am making, not so much in a pragmatic way but in an emotional and potential way.

Does the space, material, or whatever make for something that will last in your family’s photo album shoe box?

dog hair, human sweat, and gyro smoke come together into a proper duvet
dog hair, human sweat, and gyro smoke come together into a proper duvet

What informed the different fragments you choose to reveal? How were these selected?

I wish I had a better answer but this exercise truly was one of personal impact. A thing would catch my eye, I would capture it, then I would zoom and crop until I was objectively satisfied, and then I would write and write until I got the same sensation. I suppose the only limiting factor was the personal format I set for myself, in way of the writing and photography. My interests in brevity and material are very clearly present; but these sort of guidelines be they self imposed or not are necessary in any creative medium.

roll over hit the snooze repeat infinitely
roll over hit the snooze repeat infinitely

How long have you been working on the project? Has it influenced other works?

The interest in this type of photography was brought about by a former professor of mine (Miguel Guitart) who I appreciate very much for his lessons and inspiration. This project itself however has been in production for about a year now and has certainly got me thinking on others ways in which photography can be used not as a clarifier but a muddier, something to encourage uncertainty. I have already been thinking of other ways to play and work with it once the weather allows me out again.

What is the objective of it as a finished product?

I would describe the objective of the work in the following three adjectives; curious, playful, and connective. I wanted the work to be read and viewed so that it would take someone not to a place of my creation but to a time, place, or thought entirely personal. The only way in fact I know how to do this though is to be entirely personal and specific to my own thoughts and experiences; while introducing a level of vagueness by removing the context in which these personal moments had existed. By drafting unfiltered memories and thoughts of my own, this allows for perhaps a certain level of authenticity that then allows the viewer to springboard into a rich intimate space all their own.

What is for you the architects ultimate tool?

For me the architects ultimate tool is intuition. I think architects have a unique relationship and value for space. One that is manicured through their personal joys, education, and careers. This is not to be taken lightly and is not necessarily something that others may be able to grasp and appreciate. I think architects should remember and utilize what they feel.

Too often good things become sullied with reason.

a 3rd grade hall monitor confronts a 5th grader without their hall pass
a 3rd grade hall monitor confronts a 5th grader without their hall pass

What questions does the project raise and answer?

The question finds itself tethered to the image, which arrives without intent.
&
The answer finds itself buried in the writing, which seeks to shrink the world of the image.

Together they suggest the fluid nature of our mental and spatial environments. What random stimuli have wiggled their way into our psyches; compounding and dissolving themselves, waiting for a moment to step forward.

#Interviews