Painters and photographers of the uninhabited wilderness use selection and composition as an antidote for the perceived disorder and suggest a place to venture and explore no matter how dangerous. There are wildernesses within civilization created by abandonment and other unintentional acts. Abandonment is a statement of failure of an object, a construction, a creation, to satisfy the needs of the creator or the owner. Most failures are removed--often buried. Some failures, often those in out-of-the-way places, remain untouched, deteriorating, showing the passage of time.
These out-of-the-way places have a certain desolation and emptiness, and they suggest loss, separation, alienation, failure, and futility. Nonetheless, just as a vacant lot offers a young explorer a place for adventure and possible treasure, these unusual places can offer intense exploration and adventure. Their separation offers an exclusiveness and a peacefulness. Each instance of abandonment begs a historical narrative, in a sense a minor crime drama with motive, method, and opportunity to be discovered or at least pondered.
I have always been a visual explorer that has often been excited by particular, chance arrangements of items left and found together. I am interested in the corners of cities, towns, farms, factories, harbors, lakes, streets, and county fairs where multiple agents--creators--have built and, perhaps, abandon structures, devices, and other artifacts without intent and thought to their visual relationships. These are places where structure and disorder--the designed and the not designed--are found together. Of course, there are intentional relationships between structures in civilization, but there are many other relationships--especially on a small scale--that are unintentional and that result in significant disorder. Humans have abandon these places: Only their sign--their ghosts--remain.
I find the discovery and exploration of these vacant-yet-inanimately-populated places as exciting as I did as an adolescent. Rather than dig through found articles, I consider them as found still lives that can be selected, composed, captured, and treasured.