Urban Ruins and the Myths of Modernity: Challenge and Resistance Through the Work of Sarah R. Bloom

Master’s Thesis: 

URBAN RUINS AND THE MYTHS OF MODERNITY:  CHALLENGE AND RESISTANCE THROUGH THE WORK OF SARAH R. BLOOM

DONE STAMP

Access here:  Amy Nicole Dunn – MA Thesis

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Beyond the Ruins of the Creative City: Berlin’s Factory of Culture and the Sabotage of Rent

Art within/of Ruins – Double-Edged?

PANKOV

eine Geschichte die Kunstruine in Berlin

by Matteo Pasquinelli

Coming of age in the heyday of punk, it was clear were living at the end of something — of modernism, of the American dream, of the industrial economy, of a certain kind of urbanism. The evidence was all around us in the ruins of the cities… Urban ruins were the emblematic places for this era, the places that gave punk part of its aesthetic, and like most aesthetics this one contained an ethic, a worldview with a mandate on how to act, how to live… A city is built to resemble a conscious mind, a network that can calculate, administrate, manufacture. Ruins become the unconscious of a city, its memory, unknown, darkness, lost lands, and in this truly bring it to life. With ruins a city springs free of its plans into something as intricate as life, something that can be explored but perhaps not mapped…

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The Atemporality of “Ruin Porn”: The Carcass & the Ghost by Sarah Wanenchak

Things to Consider….

Discard Studies

*This post originally appeared on Cyborgology.

Objects have lives. They are witness to things.
–This American Life, “The House on Loon Lake”

Atlantic Cities’ feature on the psychology of “ruin porn” is worth a look–in part because it’s interesting in itself, in part because it features some wonderful images, and in part because it has a great deal to do with both a piece I posted previously on Michael Chrisman’s photograph of a year and with the essay that piece referenced, Nathan Jurgenson’s take on the phenomenon of faux-vintage photography.

All of these pieces are, to a greater or lesser extent, oriented around a singular idea: atemporality – that the intermeshing and interweaving of the physical and digital causes us not only to experience both of those categories differently, but to perceive time itself differently; that for most of us, time is no longer a linear experience (assuming it…

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Ruins of the Future – An Extract

Ruins and Futurity

Waste Effects

An extended version of this post appears in Aesthetic Fatigue: Modernity and the Language of Waste, ed. John Scanlan & J. F. M. Clark (Cambridge Scholars, 2013) pp. 141-162.

If waste is taken to denote change, a coming to be by having been, then the anticipation of ruins mark out the present as the condition of the future. One of the narratological effects of imagining the present in a ruined condition is the strong emphasis that this places on ruins’ relation to the present and the dynamic vigour of ending. As a form of waste, the ruin is both an end and a continuity, both the end to use and the muted remainder of that activity. Whilst future ruins frequently suggest the termination of some time, people or structure, there is a lingering or remaining sense of time, a time that is particular to the condition of being ‘leftover’. This…

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Miru Kim’s Naked City Spleen

Click Here:  Miru Kim’s Naked City Spleen

Revere Sugar Factory, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY, USA  As I started venturing out in 2005 to neighborhoods with industrial ruins, I immediately fell in love with Red Hook. The Revere Sugar Factory is the first abandoned factory I entered alone. After seeing its giant dome in a Brooklyn waterfront tour video, I hopped on the F train to Smith 9th street, a stop at which I had never gotten off before. Walking in the general direction of the waterfront, I came across deserted parks, housing projects, giant empty grain silos, and 19th-century brick warehouses. It was no wonder that Al Capone started out in that very neighborhood as a small-time criminal and got the wound that lead to his nickname, “Scarface.” It was a late afternoon, and the silence of the streets made me apprehensive. Walking along Beard Street, I saw an abandoned warehouse with a small hole in the fence I could barely fit through. Only after some minutes of being inside did I realize I was already in the six-acre sugar factory complex.

Revere Sugar Factory, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY, USA
As I started venturing out in 2005 to neighborhoods with industrial ruins, I immediately fell in love with Red Hook. The Revere Sugar Factory is the first abandoned factory I entered alone. After seeing its giant dome in a Brooklyn waterfront tour video, I hopped on the F train to Smith 9th street, a stop at which I had never gotten off before. Walking in the general direction of the waterfront, I came across deserted parks, housing projects, giant empty grain silos, and 19th-century brick warehouses. It was no wonder that Al Capone started out in that very neighborhood as a small-time criminal and got the wound that lead to his nickname, “Scarface.” It was a late afternoon, and the silence of the streets made me apprehensive. Walking along Beard Street, I saw an abandoned warehouse with a small hole in the fence I could barely fit through. Only after some minutes of being inside did I realize I was already in the six-acre sugar factory complex.

Photography of Sarah R. Bloom – Snap My Life

Supplication Shot in an abandoned girls’ school in the countryside of Kent, United Kingdom. These windows were glorious. I shot several images I love right in front of those windows! A “supplication” is a prayer, a humble plea to a higher being, a request. I’m not Catholic and I’m not religious, but religious iconography and imagery as found in art throughout history has most certainly influenced me as an artist. Seeking humble acceptance of my life, my body, is something I struggle to do—to let go of that ‘prison’, it is one of my prayers to the Universe (my supplication).

Reflections of the Way Things Used to Be Shot in an abandoned warehouse in Detroit, Michigan. Reflections can always create a fascinating image for me, and in this photo I was very deliberate that I wanted to incorporate the reflection in this way. A reaching out to the past—the me I used to be—in both remembrance and farewell.

Burden of Proof Shot in part of an abandoned coal breaker in rural Pennsylvania. I’ve noticed that I often find myself mimicking scenes and ideas from Charlie Chaplain’s “Modern Times” when faced with large machinery, thinking of the machine as an extension of myself. Feeling run down, yet tied to the inevitable passing of time.

CLICK HERE:  Photography of Sarah R. Bloom – Snap My Life

The Politics and Archaeology of “Ruin Porn”

The last part of this blog post is particularly relevant.

Archaeology and Material Culture

An enormous number of artists, urbanites, and even archaeologists have begun to focus their attention on the aesthetics and materiality of ruin in a discourse commonly dubbed as “ruin porn.”  The pornography metaphor invokes the focus on a purely self-centered gaze and seeing urban and industrial ruination for sensationalistic if not purely emotional and instinctive reasons.  Some commentators are unnerved by the implication that the mostly visual documentation of ruination simultaneously shares with pornography the un-expressible and purely self-centered satisfaction of voyeuristic viewing.  Yet artist Matthew Christopher thoughtfully defends his photographic “autopsy of the American Dream” as a “sort of modern archaeology,” making a truly persuasive case for the political might of documenting urban devastation with images and archaeological analysis alike.

The story of urban America is undeniably one of dramatic post-war decline that could truly be likened to social and material apocalypse in some communities…

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