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Joel Whitaker

SPE Member since 2000
Member Chapter: Midwest

Invisible Cities

These photographs are prompted by my interest in the representation of a place, the process of arriving at this representation, and my physical and intellectual engagement with this place and process. I am particularly interested in the ephemeral nature of structure, location, and process; physically, psychologically, photographically, and virtually. In the case of Cities, a previous project, I used discarded historical glass plate negatives as my subject, and for Invisible Cities, or the photographs presented here, I use Google Earth downloads; two modes of representation and photographic processes that span well over a hundred years. In Invisible Cities I attempt to reinvent the idea, representation, and physical form of cities and the photographs that define and describe them. I utilize the photographic process as a way to explore this notion as well as the more suggestive and poetic qualities of the medium. The resulting photographs are as much informed by my experiences in such places as by my relationship to the physical and intellectual underpinnings of the photographic medium that serve as a record of these experiences and interactions. I consider the city and the photographic medium transitional; organic things that are constantly in flux, both physically and intellectually.

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