About this project
Hello, I'm Roland Miller. I am a photographer and photo educator. I have been photographing space exploration-related programs, facilities, and people for over 25 years. Included in this photography is a project I entitled Abandoned In Place. This project is a photographic exploration of the American space launch and research facilities that played a crucial role in the early period of space exploration. The goals of this project are to preserve and portray these abandoned, deactivated, and repurposed sites through photography that surpasses the official government approach to documentation and to lend historical and artistic insight to the subject.
Thanks to the great support of the backers of the original Abandoned in Place Kickstarter campaign, I succeeded in reaching and surpassing the pledge goal. The book, Abandoned in Place: Preserving America's Space History, was published by the University of New Mexico. The book received wide critical praise and media coverage, including by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Popular Mechanics, Slate, Vantage, and Business Insider.
Abandoned In Place: Preserving America's Space History is an 11 by 13" book with over 100 color photographs from the Abandoned in Place series. The introduction is provided by Bob Thall, photography professor at Columbia College in Chicago. Dr. Roger Launius, former Associate Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, authored the foreword.
When Kickstarter contacted me and offered the opportunity to participate in their Kickstarter Gold series, I knew it would allow me to finally offer the book as a stand-alone reward (see the PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER reward level). In the original Abandoned in Place Kickstarter campaign, I was actually raising money for the University of New Mexico Press to publish the book. This meant I had to buy books to fulfill rewards. If I had offered the book alone, I would have had to ask for a pledge amount that was more than the book was going to cost once it was published. To solve that issue, I bundled the book with prints from the Abandoned in Place series.
With this Kickstater Gold project, the money I raise is going to support my continuing efforts to document, interpret, and preserve the history of space exploration and research. Because the money raised will not be going to the UNM Press, I can offer the book as a stand-alone reward.
Along with offering the Abandoned in Place book as a stand-alone reward, I have also bundled it as a package with prints of images which were not available in the original Kickstarter. Other reward levels bundle the book as a package with new sizes of prints of images which were available in the original Kickstater. There are also prints available without the book for those who already own a copy of it.
Even with the book available as a stand-alone reward, I would encourage backers to look at the book/print bundle options, as this is a very inexpensive way to own an original, signed print from the Abandoned in Place series.
The project ends at 4:18 PM EDT, on July 20, 2017, exactly 48 years to the minute after Apollo 11 landed on the Moon in 1969.
Along with the book and photographic prints that are available, I am working with noted space mission patch artist, Tim Gagnon, to create a limited edition patch which will be included in every pledge of $15 or more.
The project serves not only as a documentary body of work, but also as an artistic interpretation of these historic sites. The blockhouses, launch towers, tunnels, test stands, and control rooms featured in Abandoned In Place are rapidly giving way to the elements and demolition. By my estimates, fully half of the facilities I have photographed no longer exist. The costs involved in restoring, maintaining, and securing these sites are enormous. Most of these historic facilities are located on secure military or NASA facilities, therefore drastically limiting access by the public. Photography is the only practical method to preserve and portray these historic locations.
Four authors contributed essays for Abandoned in Place. Also included in the book are three elegies by Ray Bradbury.
Dr. Betsy Fahlman is an art historian at Arizona State University. Dr. Fahlman, an expert in art relating to industry and technology, delivers a primer on the history of space imagery and documentation.
Craig Covault is a freelance aerospace journalist. Mr. Covault's essay details the progression of space launch and exploration programs at Cape Canaveral's Complexes 40 and 41 and how the launch complexes evolved through various projects and phases over time.
Colonel Pamela Melroy is a retired NASA astronaut and the second woman to command a Space Shuttle mission. Colonel Melroy’s essay discusses the history of Apollo One Launch Complex 34 and how it affected her work on the Space Shuttle Columbia Reconstruction Project Team.
Dr. Beth O’Leary is a space archeologist and Professor Emeritus of Archeology at New Mexico State University. Dr. O’Leary’s essay focuses on the “archaeological assemblage” created by Armstrong and Aldrin at the first lunar landing site and the ways in which it could be preserved for future generations.
The Abandoned in Place series of photographs has been exhibited in museums around the country, including the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama; the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center, Florida; the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson, Kansas.
"Miller takes readers on a visually stunning, emotionally charged tour of various abandoned facilities connected to NASA's space program, including now-unused launchpads and retired science facilities." -- Space.com
“For those [space artifacts] that can’t be physically preserved, the photos in Abandoned in Place help preserve their memories as nature reclaims their materials.” -- The Space Review
“A wonderful collaboration of prose and imagery that highlights the declining state of the sites where humanity lifted off for another world.” -- SpaceFlight Insider
“This well-produced coffee-table book is filled with starkly beautiful photographs that evoke bittersweet memories contrasting America’s ‘glory days’ of space exploration with the abandoned remnants of infrastructure that made them possible half a century or more ago.” -- National Space Society
“Abandoned in Place beautifully documents, both in images and words, the architecture and engineering of a period in which anything was possible: the first Space Age.” -- SpaceFlight
“[Miller] is completely connected to his subjects, and his photographs are a visual extension, filled with reverence and empathy.” -- Quest
“[Roland Miller] showcases images of deactivated and repurposed defense facilities and space-launch sites around the country.” -- The Wall Street Journal
“Roland Miller is on a mission to document the deserted sites of America’s space race.” -- The Guardian
“Chronicles long-neglected and largely forgotten aspects of US space history.” -- Forbes
“More than half the buildings in the book have been demolished or repurposed, but the powerful images still preserve the important period in the history of space travel.” -- Science Focus
“Abandoned in Place can be read as a reverent tour of history, but it’s also a touchstone to a way of looking at the world and the future that unified a nation in ways that few things can.” -- Vantage
“Miller’s arresting photographs are a testament to the early days of American space exploration. They allow us to glimpse part of what went into achieving what Kennedy called ‘the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.’” -- Atlas Obscura
“More than just a remembrance of a lost age of infrastructure, Abandoned in Place is a meditation on landscapes of immense historical significance that are overlooked by historic preservation.” -- Co.Design
“A phenomenal collection of images.” -- Crave Online
Photographs from Abandoned in Place are in numerous permanent collections, including the American Cultural Center, Xi'an International University, Xi'an, China; Pensacola State College, Florida; the NASA Art Collection, Washington, DC; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois.
A wide range of rewards comprised of images from the Abandoned in Place series are available, as well as the book itself. Print size indicates the dimensions of the paper on which the image is printed. For matting and preservation purposes, the actual images will be slightly smaller on the paper with a white border along the edges. Photographs available through the Kickstarter campaign normally sell for much more than the reward level costs listed.
I have been printing on Hahnemühle paper exclusively for the past four years. I have been working with digital imaging since 1989, and I have not found another paper brand with the reliability, accuracy, and consistency of the Hahnemühle family of papers. I am a stickler for color and print quality. (See my website, http://www.abandonedinplace.com/the-tone-system.) I have also selected Hahnemühle papers for their superior surface qualities. Beyond print quality, it is critical to me to make prints that are color-stable, archival, and that will last as long as possible. Hahnemühle papers exceed my expectations in all of these criteria.
The Goal of $5,000
I set the goal at $5,000 to meet the current needs of my continued documentation and interpretation of the space program and its history. The more support the project receives, the more work I can do to preserve America's space history.
I hope you will see this project as worthy of your support. I greatly appreciate your interest and I hope you will choose to back Abandoned in Place.
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