Saturday, December 11, 2010


I've been thinking on a lot of things lately, especially as the stress of the holiday season sets in. Two of the themes that keep coming into my head in intersecting fashion are the complex systems that underlay our society and the general concept of decay. There is nothing that gives me more Reevesian “Whoa” moments, than thinking for any length on the increasingly complex, increasingly specialized, and increasingly decaying web of mechanical and electrical systems that we rely on to keep bright the light of civilization.

One of my favorite blogs is written by a photographer and writer with a fantastic talent for capturing sense of place and also the subtle decay and facades of our built environment. So with a nod to the good folks over at Are There Any More Cookies?, I'm going to swing this potentially dense and pretentious discussion toward another installment of the themed photo sets that I've indulged in lately. Here is my own take on decay. I'll tackle sense of place in another installment.

Barbed Wire and Vines (antiqued)
Bear Creek Park - Burnished RustGasworks Parks DetailProgression

Varner-Hogg Plantation 5 - Pump Detail
WPA Building (cottage)Progression"History"

TippedCreeping Decay
Stone Staircase with leaves (B&W)


Joel said...

I can't really explain what it is about decay that attracts me, but there's something fascinating about it. Part of it is that there is a sense of beauty in distortion and contrast, like in the "Twilight Zone" episode where the girl wants to be unique by staying ugly when everyone else is getting a beauty treatment, but part of it is also that decaying objects have a sense of nobility. They're survivors, and there's as much strength and inspiration in looking at what's left behind as there is hubris. "Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair," but also gaze upon them and think about the meaning of the things that endure.

JMBower said...

well put. I think decaying things have more truth in them, minus their veneer, than brand shiny new things do. decay strips down things to their core, there's no facade.

Also, rust is a nice bright color for photographs.