Ten Years East


Ten Years East is a collection of photographs spanning a decade living in Eastern North Carolina. These images explore how the idea of "place," along with regional ideologies, inform the ways in which artists view the world. The monograph contains sixty photographs, and is accompanied by an introductory essay falong with an excerpt from The People, Place, and Space Reader, by Jen Jack Gieseking, William Mangold, Cindi Katz, Setha Low, and Susan Saegert.

Excerpt from Ten Years East

...Transitioning from the hustle and bustle of urban life to a somewhat sleepy town caused a major shift in my aesthetic. Immediately I was drawn to the colors and textures of decay in a town that was once the “world’s largest tobacco market.” Moving here a decade ago sparked a photographic essay of dilapidated buildings and idiosyncrasies of Eastern North Carolina that has continued along side many conceptual projects that have come and gone in due season. In the last ten years my “other” photographs have expanded greatly, and the greatest difference between this work and everything else I have photographed before is the absence of an agenda. More so than any series wrapped up in the aesthetic of memory or in the writings of Debord, Derrida, Benjamin or Sontag, these images are truly the moments in-between, the nuance of the daily commute, the chance meeting, and the family vacation. They are observations collected through life and living, including the not so precious or amazing ones.

Whereas the “other” photographs were made without a predefined direction, they unintentionally reveal the subtle passage of time in a place that functionally embraces change slower than anywhere I have ever lived. Some things look the same as they did ten years ago, vacant buildings crumbling slowly through passive neglect. Business have come and gone, moved locations, found success, thrived, and now passed into a faint echo of existence. Others have struggled to get off the ground and never materialized, nearly bankrupting the would-be entrepreneurs. Now there is a slow Renaissance in progress with warehouse lofts, innovation incubators, and microbreweries tucking themselves into small town city centers. Living in Eastern North Carolina has changed my life and work in ways I cannot count. In some regards I’m the same person I was when moving here, but in others I’m quite the opposite. I have found great value in the moments in-between and in the stolen moments away from doing and being in which I take pause to take make a photograph, not for any great reason than being attracted to the scene. What has being in this place taught me? It has reminded me that all great journeys return to the beginning. That my greatest joy in being a photographer has not been making photographs, but merely taking pictures.