When one’s dead, one’s dead… This squirrel will become earth all in his time. And still later on, there’ll grow new trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them. Do you think that’s so very sad?
We are finite creatures. Our marks on this world are finite and when we move on, often all too soon, what remains is a perversion of the life we once had. That is to say, the organic, spontaneous life shared there is gone, and all that remains is a sad copy.
I draw extensively on Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation when I photograph dereliction and abandonment. Primarily, I seek to capture the second-stage and fourth-stage; I seek out spaces that are merely askance of their original purpose, skewed in decay of the lives lived there, as well as spaces that are so decayed and overgrown they bear little resemblance to having human touch.
I try to be as minimally intrusive as possible to the properties I visit to photograph. There is the element of legality, as I do not want a criminal record for damaging property, but also I feel strongly that tampering is a violation of artistic integrity. It takes something away if you damage what you seek to preserve through an image.
This is also why I strongly prefer getting permission to photograph a space. I view all my photographic exploits as an opportunity to in some sense honor the previous occupants and the stories a place can tell. You cannot honor anything by creeping around illegally.