In 2003 I lost my father. The body of work I made in response (seen here) did not help me navigate my emotions as I hoped it would. In 2009 I began traveling around America re-shooting (as closely as possible) Stephen Shore's seminal body of work Uncommon Places in hopes to mend what my journey could not. To read more about the origin of this project see here. So far I've traveled 35,000 miles and recreated approximately 55 percent of the images. I have extensively documented my travels along the way in both written and photographic journals. I'm starting this Kickstarter to continue to share my journey and gather the necessary funds to complete the project.
Risks and challenges
My mode of travel, the places I stay and the conditions in which I shoot all add extra risks and challenges to what is already a very emotionally and mentally taxing situation. I travel almost exclusively on the Greyhound Bus, and while we are all united under the flag of the dog there are many people on the bus who are less than amicable.I stay in the least expensive hotels I can find, as doing otherwise is not only a waste of money that could be used to shoot more, but would provide a distraction from what I am traveling to accomplish. I travel to create images. Once at a hotel/motel my fellow guests can be colorful, but as we are all trying to rest there is little danger. This is not the case when we are in transit. On the bus I have made some of my favorite images from this body of work, and have also been in the most danger. I have seen a man get his face smashed into the ground by state marshals. I have been both personally and physically threatened. Everyone wants to get where they are going. My largest trip each year comes in August when New York is a wasteland. Everyone that can flees the smells released from the walls we inhabit during the other months of the year for places less used. Other parts of the country are not shielded by buildings and are dually physically closer to the sun, providing for 100 plus degree days on the regular. To avoid harsh shadows I shoot from noon to approximately 5pm, the hottest hours of the day. I carry four cameras, my tripod and enough film to last for the days shooting. Physically this is taxing. My drive to accomplish what I have signed myself up for carries me through heat exhaustion while the previous nights rest staves gives my eyes the strength to fight against what I have felt them struggling with during the longer legs of this trip. The longer one is away from a home, the more ones eyes start to search for that feeling of home. Be it in peoples faces or in the fauna and accompanying landscape, we search. This is good as I am trying to create a feeling of home in my images, but as my eyes have to increasingly watch for potential danger in the situations I find myself in. The double duty means it is hard for my eyes to do either job well. I have been making this work for three years and will not stop until it is finished.I have been granted great opportunities and what I hope is to offer something tangible and relatable back, for we have all experienced loss, and if my journey can help someone else as Stephen has helped mine, I am honored to do so.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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