The Access series, in a sense, was born of failure. I approached various industrial sites, intending to photograph inside the perimeter, and I often encountered barriers in the form of privacy fences. Although I was stymied, I kept looking, and eventually discovered something interesting. The fences act as filters, mediating the reality coming to us from the other side.
In the gallery, viewers observe interesting optical effects in these images. It’s fascinating to watch people interact with the work. They get closer, they step back, they move left and right, trying to “figure it out”. Sometimes, they even look at them edge-on, to see if any of the elements have been glued on.
These two phenomena, filtered reality and shifting focus, have become to me metaphors for our social situation. As this series emerged, the media landscape and socio-political scene continued to evolve.
The information sources we choose filter and mediate reality, just as these fences do. That process is inherent in their nature, since they are staffed by human beings.
What people see in these images depends to some extent on where they stand. I think that is also true of how we view the world more generally. We’d all like to believe that the opposite is true: that where we stand – on any topic from monetary policy to the merits of our favorite sports team – depends on what we see. However, in our natural state, we’re not that objective. So, this work calls us to action: stand in a different place, if only for a moment, and see what others are seeing.
Lines, shapes, forms and colors make industrial reality. Simultaneously, they create abstractions that are interesting and sometimes sublime. This body of work seeks balance. While it’s possible to remove some of the visual cues that anchor these images in the real world and make them purely non-representational, I prefer to observe how abstract elements combine to form the things we see.
I believe there is value in looking at the world more closely. This work describes how we can find interestingness in unexpected places if we look at and reconsider the things we normally pass by without really seeing.