So I'm 40 years old. I finished the order for I-95 yesterday, on my birthday... right down to the wire, my friends. I've been working on it for 10 years and now it's done.
The structure of the project has remained the same from the beginning, with slight adjustments as I moved forward. This blog wasn't a planned part of the structure and was a pretty big surprise as a component of the project on the whole. I had just planned to commit myself to having the process and production of the work be as transparent as possible. When I began I-95 I hadn't envisioned how the internet would impact my work, particularly in terms of transparency of process. Within the last ten years there's been a shift from film to digital as the democratic image making mode and I've followed suit. How we share and distribute images is shockingly different from how it was 10 years ago.
And who would have thought that I'd have so much critical success? It's just fucking nuts.
It feels like I've had a lot of deaths since I began 95. My grandmother, my mother-in-law, aunts, friends. And participants in the project, people who I've come to know from making photos. I guess that's just being in your 30s but it came into my mind over the last couple of days. It feels like a lot of life, a lot of loss and a lot of gain.
As I finished the order, I came back to the original blueprint to make sure I got it right. Make it like a palindrome, so that you can enter and exit the installation anywhere and still read the same narrative. Because of that model I've found that I knocked out a number of strong images for images that I might not "like" as much, but they're ones that move you from one place to another. And it's incredibly important for there to be images that echo, so viewers think they've seen a similar image somewhere else. And those similar images can be years and years or thousand and thousands of miles apart. Everything fits and I'm happy to sacrifice images that I love for ones that get the job done. Some of the placements are intuitive and some are intellectual but everything is considered, there's nothing arbitrary.
This is the house where my grandmother grew up, 1607 W. Susquehanna Ave. It was a kosher butcher shop.
Here's a butcher shop in France, in 2008. This photo isn't really my aesthetic, it's a real "Photography with a capital P" photograph. But it connects to the other photos in a way that makes it perfect for where it's placed.
The reflection in the window behind these guys is the casino in the photo below
I made the photo above in 2000 and it's been included in the installation a number of times. I'm replacing it with a photo I made of the same place in 2010.
Near Auburn, WA
This photo was made at 9th and Snyder, around the corner from my studio and a few blocks from my house.
This photo was made in Lavapies, a neighborhhood in Madrid, Spain.
The distance between "lottery tickets for sale" and "lottery tickets purchased" is approximately 3,713 miles or 5,975 km as they say over there.
All of these moments are completely ordinary. It's the beauty and struggle of everyday life.