Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Photojournalism essay (Arizona)


      I have a very unconventional interest in seeking places which show the slow death of post 2000's American commercialism and consumerism. Somehow, seeing places like this reminds me that there are parts of the nature of people that people hate acknowledging. Places like this show people's habits of expending resources and working to build something, and having progressed far beyond their need for it in the process, and thus abandoning it in the end (it's a very complicated relationship with my world that even I don't fully understand). In today's world, most buying of regular goods can be done on the Internet. For example, if your desk chair stops working, and you find that all you need to get it fixed is a small metal bracket, you won't think to go to a hardware store. You will look up the exact part online and buy it from the manufacturer (through amazon, of course). You may want to get it shipped to you the very same day, which is possible. This whole process has killed the idea and practice of going to a mall or outlet store and buying things.
    The 'American Dream' is essentially the idea that, if one works very hard and makes necessary sacrifices, they will be successful. The very idea which the American dream was built off of has practically been polarized and replaced with an age of business orchestrated entirely on the Internet. While many aspects of the human experience have been lost in this process, many new ones have been gained. Places like this stand as artifacts of a unique era in which people sold their humanity to a mechanized machine designed to make money. After all that has withered with time, abandoned places have a charm which deserves to be recognized. 

     The Tanger outlet mall was built in Casa Grande, Arizona in the early 1990's. My mother and her friends used to meet here nearly every weekend. It acted as their paddy's pub; if their lives were a sitcom, it would take place here. Recently, though, I came across it on google. Anyways, I asked her if she would like to go and see how it's changed. She seemed excited and eager to see the place where some of the best years of her life took place. What I had forgot to tell her was that it had been abandoned for over five years.

A panoramic consisting of three photos which shows the full scope of how empty the whole place was (the elliptic concentration acts as a frame to better imitate how people actually perceive bigger areas).
There was not a car in a single spot here. People stopped buying things, and therefore starved the suppliers until they had to leave. 

The palm trees have grown to twice their size since the mall was opened. They grew around the roof of the mall and sought sunlight, which seems to be working fine. 

Each of these stores once had a sign in front of them, and people moved in and out; they were set apart from one another. When the construction crew removed all of the signs and posters, they all looked quite the same from the outside. 

This light still comes on at night, but no one needs it. Behind this lot, there is only a wide span of desert. 

Alongside social consumerism, there are other artifacts here as well. Every 20 meters or so, there was a payphone with a phonebook attached. 

I was one of the only people to appear in this window for years. When I looked in, I felt like I was a little kid again. All Wendy's restaurants have a cookie-cutter blueprint design, so no matter where you went it felt like the one closest to home. I remember being bullied in kindergarten and going to Wendy's after school was over. It was comforting, yet slightly unsettling to realize that I had never been here before. The memories which I had were re-vitalized by a corporate plan to save money. It's like getting a pat on the back from a corpse.

The tables still work, yet no one has eaten here in years. It seems that they go hand in hand with the place that supplies the food. Regardless of this, I still sat and had a drink of water (despite it being over 100 degrees 

The Drive-thru window was still able to be opened, and I could see the stoves and fryers dormant on the inside. It was too dark to get any photos, but I'm sure I heard some friendly small animals in there. 

Birds were actually more scarce in this parking lot, because there was no food left by people for them to eat. However, they still seemed friendly enough to people. This is probably my favorite of all the photos I took in the parking lot. Here is an artistic take on the theme of two; a 'portrait' of two birds having a conversation. 

There were no more people to take care of the pests, so birds made small homes in every crevice they could find. People still care for them, in a way. Now they have acute shelter from predators and harsh weather. Here is a 'portrait' of a mother posing with her two children. 

All of the palm trees were freakishly tall. The flagpole was practically inaccessible due to overgrowth and sharp plants. In the United States, the American flag is flown over nearly every major business establishment. Where the flag is found, there will be people as well. 

Behind the mall, I found this amazing tower with nothing inside. It was literally built to add a corner to the mall that was interesting. Regardless, it may look like a brooding tower if you stumbled across it after being lost in the desert. I wanted it to have the glory it was built to convey. 

This is the view from the other end of the parking lot. Absolutely no cars at all. It was strange to hear the silence in a place where most people hear noise; the visual silence only assed to the barren aspect of the buildings. The signs had left spots on the buildings after the paint around them had been sun-bleached. 

This large sign used to have a brightly lit logo of the Tanger outlet mall. It was bright when the mall was at its brightest. In a way, it still shows what the mall has to offer. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Golden Hour

The 'Golden Hour' is a time (about an hour) which falls just before the sun sets. I took some Pictures during this time, and here are a few of the best ones:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Another cool thing

I made another cool thing. More stuff is on its way, but for now, here's a cool thing. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

'THE FUTURE' and things like that

Alright. Here's the thing;
I'm going to university in a month or two and will be moving across the country. However, the other thing is I'm working on a couple things right now which include real photo prints of various things, and photos of cool abandoned buildings. After that, I'll be working someplace in the summer and will have 'more time' (that could mean lots more or just a little more) to work on photos. I really like photography, and will continue to post as things arrive. The statistics thing on this blog says I have a very small audience in Ireland. I really like Ireland, and would like to take more pictures for anyone who enjoys them. I also do art and music, so I may post some of that as well (stuff like the 'Club Member' art).
In short, I like the place I've made here, and I don't want it to go. I have this school year to finish, and there will be more stuff during then. But after that, expect a wider variety of things.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Foreign places

This is the view out the window of a stairwell in downtown Santo Domingo

This pigeon is drinking water out of a gutter pipe. It kind of looks like a long straw fixed to the side of the building

The perspective in this shot is especially strange. No photoshop tricks here-- but it looks aligned and misaligned at the same time

Friday, April 28, 2017

Entropy and prior quantum sequencing

These things are actually very closely related. But we'd never know it if it weren't for quantum physics. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cool Thing That I Made

AYYY!! Look at that. I made a cool thing out of other things. (Multiple photos from Seattle which I modified and put together to make a cool thing made from cool things.)