Detroit Decline Mash-up Photography
The unfathomable decline of the City of Detroit has been captured in hauntingly heart-breaking photos by many urban photographers, and most of these captivating images are compiled on the site detroiturbex.com. The site touches on the vast demographic changes that prompted the abandonment of so many beautiful buildings, and catalogues each location in various categories with a researcher's precision. However, the photographs are more than archival, they are achingly unreal and beautifully artistic. In going through the school images I am stunned and shocked by the mass of things left behind. It's like everyone left for home at the end of a school day and then never returned. Books, desks, posters, computers, artwork, papers, chemicals and equipment, just abandoned. It's like a modern day Pompeii.
I have on many occasions found myself sucked in to the site for hours. One section is dedicated to Cass Tech High School and there are some absolutely incredible photo mash-ups where old recovered pictures of life at the school are seamlessly woven onto photos of the abandoned school. I find them quite haunting.
I think I find them so striking not only because of the contrast between a school full of life and one abandoned, but because the images show so powerfully the passing of time, a concept that is difficult to capture in one image. Many of the people-filled images are from my era in Junior High and High School, and I have to smile at the crimped hair and pleated pants. Looking at these, I was struck by the idea that I can never return to that place in time, any more than anyone else. Although the schools I went to are still standing and well-used, the places where I went to dances, fooled around in the halls, hung out in the stair wells, and sat gazing out the classroom window are as irretrievable to me as the moments in these photos.
I don't mean that mournfully, but the passage of time is something I am constantly trying to reconcile myself with - I think it is a struggle for all of us. I love that these carefully created montages have the power to evoke such deep thoughts on a Friday morning!
Speaking of the passage of time, (holy segway batman) Google reader is gone next week and I would hate to lose track of all of you that follow the blog that way. You can follow my blog via BlogLovin' by clicking on one of those little red icons way up at the top of the blog - it is the one with the plus sign. You can also sign up to get my posts by email by clicking on the little envelope. I am going to be creating a Super Professional Newsletter List in the next few weeks, and I will have a post about signing up for that in a little while, so get excited. :)
Thank you for reading. xo