Monday, 1 November 2010

Forgotten Indianapolis

The first project of this photoblog involves my hometown of two years, Indianapolis. Just keeping its head above water in the recently emerged globalized worldmarket, this metropolis languishes in the project of recreating itself. Once a manufacturing hub, Indianapolis still reels from the loss of its former economic base and a new-century crisis, yet manages to tread water-- simultaneously developing and declining in confusing ambivalence.

This project takes a look at the skeleton of an industrial city; the pitted man-made bones of the engineering age. Left behind is a testament to the Pyrrhic triumph of man over nature, where subterranean veins of coal and ore fed glowing slag rivers and hellish workshops fabricated the scaffolding of modernity. Harnessing this power, a new civilization would emerge with its games and highway networks and twentieth century projects. Today, the muscle of those times has atrophied and the regional economic capital of post-war America, spent.

You can still find a forgotten Indianapolis magnificent despite its post-industrial sclerosis, standing half obscured and inaccessible yet surrounded by humanity. It is preserved mostly by accident, by the poison of asbestos fibers and insensible industrial residue. Industry eventually turns on man, and like some defensive insect evolves a toxin repellent and asserts its isolation.

For how long this will last is not known, but until the day we dismantle the relics of the industrial age, it patiently awaits its fate. We are not only the creators of these behemoths, but the destroyers of the destroyers. Each construct erected by man has its own hourglass; everything built will become un-built. That is, if we bother. Either we will undo it, or entropy will complete its mission and do our work for us.

A few of us still enter these sentinels of a former time, participants due to our race but not belonging to the cabal of technologists who created them. We marvel at the human mind translated to steel and weaponized for our selfish benefit and find beauty in it.

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