Aaron Asis: Dormancy
I used to wander back-and-forth along the narrow path of the used to be abandoned Highline. I always enjoyed the serenity of its elevated platform, but often questioned why I was the only person there?
That Highline has since disappeared, given way to a fabulous elevated park for the masses, but my personal interest in abandonment has escalated from a solitary curiosity to a photographic obsession, with post-industrial environments in various stages of decay. And, I’ve come to realize that our relationships with the past are complicated, our ability to appreciate the present is limited, and our desire to forecast the future is often over-simplified.
Despite this bizarre relationship between time, appreciation and/or imagination, the value of these environments in decay should not be limited to mere acceptance or transformation – rather we can choose to embrace their unique brand of magic. These environments are rich in history, texture, authenticity and unique beauty, ranging from their decorated surfaces, uneven floorboards and crystalline fields of broken glass that combine to create unexpectedly tranquil and serene spatial environments.
That said, these words are not a suggestion of anything absolute, but they are posing a question about our relationships with these structures. Perhaps some things are best served in decay – to challenge our aesthetic sensibilities and consumerist tendencies? Or, perhaps some things are best served as remnants – to inspire our child-like enthusiasm for the romance of our endangered industrialized empire?
Either way, I do believe that we have much to learn about the past, present and future, from the subtext of dormant structures in the landscape.
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