“Blasting Area” refers to the warning text on the signposts designating the boundary between the largest excavation - quarry site on the shores of the Hudson River and the neighborhood where my family owned a home for half a century in upstate New York.
To translate the physiological impression I carry with me from having grown up with the repeated sounds and sensations of the timed blasts that rumbled the community and school, I forwent making a direct documentary record of the houses in the neighborhood with a camera and instead constructed three dimensional sculptures replicating my, neighbors’, and friends’ homes using graphite drawings made on fiber based silver gelatin photo chemical paintings. I could never see the rock exploding or the plumes of dolomite dust clearing each time the earth below me shook as a child, yet my imagination ran wild and I romantically envisioned that the process must resemble a shifting landscape akin to the formation of a new world somewhere in the universe.
As I was growing up my cognitive awareness of time registered as I learned how many thousands of years were needed for the Hudson River Valley to be carved by glacial activity in contrast to the way the quarry’s exponentially deepening, unnatural shape took form. I would often ride my bike through the the mounds of rock that resembled a moonscape avoiding the edges of new nothingness within the quarry after it closed to see where a piece of landscape I was once familiar with was now missing. This unsettling childhood memory is interwoven with the recognition as to how much we rely on mining and resource extraction globally, the dependance we have on the process to sustain and build our modem world with seemingly disposable architecture, and the power we attempt to exert over the landscape vs. the flux of responses nature warns us with in return.
To parallel this set modern realities and visual memories, I photograph each of the three dimensional sculptures I’ve built of the homes with a 7” x 17” large format view camera and film. I then contact print the negatives into spaces where the homes rest between a state of momento mori and topographical infinities.