Photos-View from the Driver’s Seat

The title is literal and ironic. The title is literal because the images were taken from the driver’s seat of my car between 2/22-27/2018. They document moments and spaces I could photograph when I was stopped in traffic, at intersections, at stop lights/signs, and parked. The title is ironic because the phrase “being in the driver’s seat” suggests a degree of control and responsibility. In fact, the images document a world in which I have no control and little, or no, responsibility.

This submission fuses documentary, road trip, landscape and architectural genres. It is based on the fact that I have routinely driven the same urban routes for decades. For most of this time, I paid little attention to the landscape I passed through because I was focused on traffic and arriving at my desired location. In the last year, I developed an interest in the landscape of my routine routes.

Since the city I live in (Houston) has no zoning, there is a surprising variety of architectural styles and mixtures of businesses and residences along my routine routes. These routes are also undergoing constant change due to new construction, renovation, sewer and street maintenance, gentrification, and businesses going in and out of business. The routes are also well traveled by people from a wide range of economic classes. For example, it is possible to see a Lamborghini or a Rolls Royce pass a homeless person.

The submission takes the familiar, ignored, devalued, and presents it as if it was new, novel and important. It reflects a state of photographic mindfulness in my daily life. This submission is part of a larger project- the creation of a visual diary that explores formalism and the vernacular.





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