Train View (2014-present) is a series of photographs made during my weekly 2-hour Amtrak commute between Chicago and Bloomington/Normal, IL . The photographs record the beauty of the Midwest landscape in changing seasons and weather, and the ways in which the land is used and developed, revealing scenes and moments that are alternatively beautiful, bleak, and poignant. The views out of the train window include rivers, bridges, highways, housing developments, junkyards, graffiti, self-storage units, billboards, oil refinery, grain silos, wind farms, cemeteries, an old prison tower, and the limestone quarry where the prisoners once worked. They are elevated and constantly shifting back views of in-between spaces, not accessible from the streets or highways. The series also includes scenes inside the train of other passengers, streaked windows, and books read during the 150-mile journey, alternating between the outside and inside worlds.
Made from the rhythm and cycles of work and rail schedule, the series explores the way speed and movement of the train create dynamic perceptions of the landscapes, and links disparate moments and subject matters to explore multiple sense of time and space. By paying attention and photographing certain things over and over again, my goal is to make pictures that are precise and accurate in the tradition of documentary photographs, but at the same time create a parallel dream-like world of images of complex moods. This project aims to contribute to photography’s rich history in revealing the changing American social and natural landscapes, and to engage in critical reflections on our present moment.
One Hundred Views is a portfolio of 100 photographs from the series, inspired by Hokusai’s "One Hundred View of Mt. Fuji".