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Fine Art 2017-04-04T04:18:45+00:00

Illegal Art

We live in a society where the perception of the food that we consume is far removed from the reality of how it is produced. Every year we consume more than 8 billion chickens and over 80 million pigs. We never see where these animals lived or know about their lives. We have some concept that they are raised on farms but even that idea is nebulous. We have pieced together a composite of food packaging, advertisements, and a general concept.

Modern farming practices are vastly different than those practiced by farmers not even twenty years ago. The corporate mega-farm of today is entirely alien to those who have never experienced the scale of it.

They are truly a wonder of modern technology and farming advances. These farms, heavily automated and carefully controlled by sophisticated and interconnected computer networks, allow a small crew of individuals to tend to massive numbers of livestock extremely efficiently.

Why then are these farms hidden away from the public? Why don’t we see pictures and advertisements from these enormous technological wonders everywhere?

The goal of this series is to both enlighten and educate the viewer to the realities of modern farming practices and how these “ag gag laws” are used to manipulate our perception of modern farming.

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Jumping Fences

I am a ghost in a strange land.

The places and people who gave me form and direction are gone, changed, or forgotten.  I am without tether. The world falls away at me feet. I can see only glimpses of what once was in what is now. I hunt for those places of my formation. I find only small comfort in places of facsimile like a waking dream.

As a boy I walked the land. I jumped the fences and explored the secret places on the fringes of my world. I discovered the stories of the land, the stories of the places built by sweat and toil. The places that carried the weight of their importance shared themselves with me. These were places built on dreams and hopes. These were communities that shared their mutual burdens.

These places are gone now. These people, their lives, and stories are forgotten. Like the changing of the season, these places are turned under the plow. They are returned to the earth. Progress will grow here now and nothing of the old world will be left to reap.

These images are a reflection of my past. It is created using a blend of old and new processes. These spaces are familiar but new. These are places I found in my travels that are facsimiles to those places in my memory that are gone now.  Many of the places in these images are gone now as well. This world was overlooked and now it is forgotten. Only the images remain.

I am a ghost in a strange land.

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The Road West

America defies easy explanation.

I learned this after watching a fist fight spill over from a Wal-Mart parking lot to a pirate themed miniature golf course in the shadow of Mount Rushmore. I had just settled in to the back seat of my car for the night when the fight broke out. Triggered by some slight, two families in rented RVs started a shouting match which quickly escalated into a fight.

Punching and swearing, two older men crossed out of the lot and into the adjacent miniature golf course where they fell into a lagoon adorned with miniature pirate decorations. They continued to fight in the waist deep water until the police came and removed them.

I had set out to discover something about America. What I found defied an easy explanation.  I suppose it was my fault as I only looked on a very specific edge of America. I wanted to see if the America defined by family road trips and manufactured history still existed and what it meant in today’s context.

It does still exist, but what it means today I have no clear answer for.

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pictures.of.me.in.places

This was a social experiment, more accurately a social media experiment. The goal was to infiltrate the world of lifestyle travel photographers on Instagram. I wanted to see what the reaction to enigmatic images would be in this carefully crafted space.

Initial results were promising and the experiment is ongoing.

Here is how the experiment was structured. I would take images of people on vacations and remove any identifying features from them by blacking out any exposed skin or hair on all visible people in the images. I would then crop the images and post them to Instagram under the username pictures.of.me.in.places and add a very short very literal description. Then, following the advice of other travel lifestyle photographers, I would add hastags to the post via a comment and wait.

The posts were treated just like any other lifestyle travel photo post.  It was rather amazing.  No one in the initial 40 posts mentioned the blacked out people or the randomness of the imagery.

The experiment will continue in phase 2 where I will try and gain as many followers as possible.

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Small Things

pictures of trash

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