i’ve been spending a lot of time in the darkroom recently working on a variety of sets of photographic projects. one goes hand in hand with my thesis and is focused on the idea of people in transition. unfortunately, i haven’t had a chance to print those frames yet (i’ll post some when i get that far). however, i also spent some time trying to document some of chicago’s more or less iconic buildings from a similar pedestrian perspective. furthermore i tried to isolate the buildings in order to emphasize their grandness and beauty. both of these images were taken with kodak plus-x 125 black and white negative film, hand processed and printed in the darkroom. the first is bertrand goldberg’s gorgeous marina city and the second is bruce graham and fazlur kahn’s (of som) john hancock center.
this is a photo i took of probably my favorite sculpture here in chicago (and there are a lot, by the likes of picasso, miro, calder, the list goes on and on). the spearman as he is known, is located along congress parkway at michigan avenue at the entrance to grant park. the spearman has a compatriot on the opposite side of congress parkway, the bowman. the two of them sit there stoically, watching time pass.
this photo i took a few years back is the interior of the relatively new iit McCormick tribune campus center (mtcc, though that is not much shorter to say) in chicago. designed by rem koolhaas and opened in 2003, the building has been referred to as chicago’s living room as a result of it’s whimsical and playful nature. the interior is composed of a multitude of colors, textures, and materials, but it’s true success is in the shifting floor planes found throughout the building.
the mtcc subtly works off the campus’ established miesian grid but manages to break it apart enough to insert a dynamic rhythm between the two halves of campus. similarly, the buildings multiple layers of design extend far beyond its multiple horizontal planes. the building’s circulaiton seems to be driven by the paths of students across the site before the building existed. doors to the mtcc correspond with various important sections of campus.
the other notable feature to the mtcc is the exelon tube which wraps the ‘l’ that travels immediately above, and to an extent, through the building. i’ve heard various rationales for this move including sound attenuation and dramatic aesthetic but i’ve also heard that chicago’s cta owns the property below the tracks and the only way to build there is to completely re-enclose the track space in some way, ie. tube (though, i must admit, i’m not entirely sure how true this is). what the tube does do for the building is offset the otherwise angular geometry of the exterior, and extrapolated further, the entire modernist miesian campus.
our good friend over at looper, who has provided us with endless eyecandy over the last year or so, has moved to new york. if you enjoy photoblogs, especially his last one, looper, i’m sure you’ll love his latest endeavor: 24gotham.
the last blog i discovered inspired me to find a few more great ones. sleepyurbanite is another photoblog, this one, however, is done via a camera phone. sleepyurbanite, as you may expect, focuses on people sleeping in public places, which is an incredible common yet incredibly personal experience.
technology meets indie art. i love the word-free narrative presented in these images. the honesty of people caught at their most vulnerable points inside the urban environment. the images themselves are intriguing, yet simple. all in all, sleepyurbanite is a fasciniting site with a unique idea worthy of a look-see.
the other day i ran across a wonderful blog called looper. the blog is a photo journal from one person’s perspective in the chicago loop. devyn, who runs looper, lives on block 58 which is smack dab in the heart of loop. his photos are phenomenal; i find his night shots especially stunning.
the beauty and simplicity presented in many of his images is soothing. personally, i love how each picture presents a unique aspect of city life, some candid, some planned, all brilliant. if you haven’t seen looper, i’d recommend you head over there and give it a once over, it’s worth the trip. devyn has a link to his old site at the top as well as a link to buy his photos (at very reasonable prices i might add). you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. i’ve always found this sort of artistic presentation of the urban experience very engaging.