The focus of the Abandon series is places and objects that have been "let go" along the Fox River
Valley betwen Cary and Carpentersville, Illinois. This area began attracting American settlers following the end of the Blackhawk Indian wars in 1835. By 1850 railway lines and factories were exploiting river power and supporting local communities. Over the subsequent 161 years additional changes occurred. The detritus from a portion of these changes appears in Abandon.
In the course of shooting this series, a curious development began to emerge. Again and again the
subjects of my work would disappear following their capture on flim. Rusted factory parts from the
1950s and earlier would be removed from county land, presumably sold as scrap to the Chinese.
150 year old factory walls would be torn down or sandblasted and repointed, and bridges demolished
and replaced. The ephemeral nature of Abandon's subjects, however dormant and slow changing in
recent decades, became increasingly highlighted as the project moved to its conclusion. Were these
objects calling out for recognition, pulling the camera to them while anticipating their demise? Or did the image capture itself release them and accelerate their demise? In a quantum world where
Schrodinger's cat will always taunt us, the answer is likely both. In a world where everything is
connected, there are no accidents.
The series was shot with a Mamiya RZ67 using Kodak Portra film.. The medium format negatives were
scanned into my computer with a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 at 12,200 pixels by 9,000 pixels for a file
size of 313 megabytes. Using Adobe Photoshop the images were cleaned and processed and
generally left uncropped.
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