"One has to take several different shots of a subject,
from different points of view and in different situations,
as if one examined it in the round rather than
looked through the same key-hole again and again.“
Cities are a mix between the natural and built landscape, where the people and dreams combine to make hectic hives of humanity. Within the city, streets are the veins that feed it energy. Every street tells a story. Each building is a stage. Structures, plantings and cars along with the mix of sounds that fill the air combine to give the residents a collective identity.
Down the Street, Random Views of Boston Neighborhoods explores modern cityscape and its components through the camera lens. Using imagery from diverse points of view and audio recordings, it documents random streets throughout Boston.
Creating this multimedia presentation has been a process of gathering images and sounds, arranging the images into sequences, and transforming the final sequences into video panoramas complete with the associated streetscape soundtrack. The goal is to survey the surfaces and sounds of the cityscape from intersecting viewpoints to see what is discovered.
Using The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Boston Streets & Neighborhoods Map as a guide, I started photographing streets in each of the designated neighborhoods of Boston from multiple camera positions recording the visual rhymes and rhythms that each location presents. To implement this plan, streets were selected based on opportunity and lighting. The results show the public facades, patterns and textures that connect daily lives into a shared sense of community.
Based in an objective photography approach, these montages are slow scans from building to building reflecting the fabric of the community. Overlaid atop these linear mosaics are a mix of sounds from cars, bikes and pedestrians, of doors opening and closing, and radios playing, and birds chirping, and the near silence of distant traffic floating away on the wind. The multiple camera lens positions and the way the images appear when joined together give these abstract portraits of the street a 3-D effect and the illusion of being photographed from a much farther distance. They speak to the difference between the way the camera records visual information and the way we see it.
Down the Street, Random Views of Boston Neighborhoods documents an American city from the street level. The panoramas show that streets from different neighborhoods are often quite dissimilar in appearance, size, feeling and sounds. This comparison can be extended to the fundamental nature of a community's development, economic status and humankind's quest for uniqueness as partially expressed in the architecture that surrounds us.
Down the Street, Random Views of Boston Neighborhoods explores how photographic imagery can be collected and presented. These visual melodies combine multiple moments and perspectives for contemplating the contemporary urban world.