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NY3: The 'Do I even live here?' Edition by a zugunruhe

11/15/17-11/15/18 has been an interesting time.

After years of grinding out video editing skills, I landed a good job. After years of grinding out concert photography, people started digging my stuff. It has been cool and exciting.

At the beginning of 2018 I was finishing a temp job at MoMA and am ending the year in Bangkok after a three month stay in Europe that was sparked by acceptance to a residency in Arles, France.

When the year began, I was still developing my Sight + Sound series that I shot from February to May 2017 in Switzerland, Cuba, and Iceland. Work that took me longer than expected because I had no blueprint for the amount of work I wanted to put into it.

I also wanted to make strides in as many production areas as possible.

I took my After Effects time more seriously and began ripping random Soundcloud song to make videos. I began my slow decent into Trapcode and 3d rendering software and very much look forward to what will come from spending more time there.

I sold all of the lenses I was familiar with and attempted to transition to a zoom lens. After I was tired of trading quality for a quick change of focal lengths, I switched back to one main prime and it helped me set my focus for the photo sets that I’m releasing next. I forgot how much I loved the constraint of one focal length to help me think about how to shoot situations.

A slightly depressing but productive 2017 set me up for an insane 2018. I can only hope to work even harder in 2019.

I hope everyone’s next 365 days is productive.

 Diet Cig

Diet Cig

 Bushwick

Bushwick

 Sound Of Ceres

Sound Of Ceres

 Grand Street L, first snow

Grand Street L, first snow

 Stuyedeyed

Stuyedeyed

 Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

 Show Me The Body

Show Me The Body

 L Train

L Train

 Octopus Project

Octopus Project

 Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale

 DRMCRSHR

DRMCRSHR

 Abandoned factory in Gowanus

Abandoned factory in Gowanus

 Sloppy Jane

Sloppy Jane

 Q Train

Q Train

 Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt

 Fort Tilden

Fort Tilden

 Elsewhere

Elsewhere

 Coney Island

Coney Island

 Grim Streaker

Grim Streaker

 The Footlight

The Footlight

 The Go! Team

The Go! Team

 South 4th Cafe (RIP)

South 4th Cafe (RIP)

 Pill

Pill

 Coney Island

Coney Island

 Sound of Ceres

Sound of Ceres

 Bowery

Bowery

 Death of Lovers

Death of Lovers

 Rockaway

Rockaway

 Teen Body

Teen Body

 Boat party

Boat party

 Greenpoint Gallery

Greenpoint Gallery

 Mr Lower Eastside

Mr Lower Eastside

 Secret Circle

Secret Circle

 Metropolitan Station

Metropolitan Station

 Retail

Retail

 Midtown

Midtown

Another Year In NYC by a zugunruhe

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New York is a weird place.

Over the last twelve months, I've only spent a little over seven here. My time was split between NYC, India, Switzerland, Rome, Iceland, Cuba, Baltimore, Texas, and roughly a week on trains.

This year had me moving out of the country for an extended time to do my first residency in Skagastrond, Iceland. There, I fell short of my initial goals but immediately started producing photo sets like Lightwaves and Dreamscapes that I'm incredibly proud of.

From that experience I came back to NYC to put on my first solo gallery show produce the project Framing, which is something that had been bouncing around my head for over a year. 

Beginning with Framing, I started combining my love of making music and putting together visuals to promote my photo sets. This has put me on a very tight schedule with the momentary release of my Sights and Sounds series, a new effort into the travel videos that first pulled me into multimedia production.

I've definitely become more confident as a photographer than I was a year ago. This time has allowed to produce work on a scale I was incapable before and I'm excited for what I have in mind for the next twleve months.

 Last December's first snow over the Pulaski Bridge

Last December's first snow over the Pulaski Bridge

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 Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, Janurary

Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, Janurary

 Father at Kinfolk

Father at Kinfolk

 Claws photo shoot

Claws photo shoot

 Brooklyn-bound R train

Brooklyn-bound R train

 14th and 6th

14th and 6th

 Pipilotti Rost: Pixel Forest, New Museum

Pipilotti Rost: Pixel Forest, New Museum

 Manhattan Ave

Manhattan Ave

 Clockwork Bar

Clockwork Bar

 East Williamsburg

East Williamsburg

 MTA employee stuck after a stolen car is left in a crosswalk, Bed-Stuy

MTA employee stuck after a stolen car is left in a crosswalk, Bed-Stuy

 Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach

 Staten Island

Staten Island

 Ninjasonik/Unstoppable Death Machines/Snoopy at Knockdown Center

Ninjasonik/Unstoppable Death Machines/Snoopy at Knockdown Center

 Idiotarod 2017

Idiotarod 2017

 Idiotarod 2017

Idiotarod 2017

 Idiotarod 2017

Idiotarod 2017

 Dan and The Dude

Dan and The Dude

 Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, November

Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, November

 Trump Tower

Trump Tower

 Genivive

Genivive

 Halloween

Halloween

 La Vida Boheme at Central Park

La Vida Boheme at Central Park

 Daptone Records, Bushwick

Daptone Records, Bushwick

Amtrak II - 48 Lakeshore Limited by a zugunruhe

The 48 Lakeshore Limited Amtrak train runs from Chicago’s Union Station to New York City’s Penn Station. 

I used the majority of my time on the 48 to shoot through the port holes at the end of the traincars. My goal was to time and shoot landscapes along the route to stitch them together later as triptychs. 

The photos framed by the window reminded me of old slides my grandfather used to share of his wildlife photography. I took that idea and, because of the fleeting nature of the shots, tried to explore the framing like someone using a camera for the first time, like point-and-shoot snapshots to remember the moment, rather than composed photographs. 

I began constructing timelines from what I shot. I was most excited about lining up shots that flowed from one to another, like a satisfying pull from left to right. There are contrasting shots, where the flow would be ‘field—water—crops,’ or ‘graffiti—fall colors—graffiti.’ Sometimes timing allowed for a linear sequence: a stretching landscape or a man walking across a platform perfectly through each frame. 

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Wharton by a zugunruhe

Hurricane Harvey first struck Texas near the city of Rockport on August 24th. Harvey then pulled out and entered Texas again on the other side of Houston. Almost directly in the middle of each landfall is the town of Wharton, Texas.

Most of the city of Wharton was covered in water during the historic flood that Harvey brought. I grew up in El Campo, 10 miles down the road from Wharton. Fortunately, my family escaped any major disaster, but the majority of the homes along the Colorado river did not.  

I wasn't able to visit the area until late September. By then, waters had receded, but Harvey's physical toll was clear. In a few low-laying areas were scenes of lost possessions, furniture, and gutted walls on the side of the road. Heaps that had been there for an extended period since city trash collectors couldn't stop by. 

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Driving by heap after heap, I began noticing the possessions making up these mounds. Things that I can't imagine anyone had planned to throw away.

Parts of lives had to be thrown out because of a massive tragedy that no one could have ever expected. 

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I noticed small pieces that stood out while looking around at the damage.

So I began shooting portraits.

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Then I started seeing these collections as sculpture. Sculpture made with the most intimate of materials, shaped by tragedy. 

The materials were instruments of daily living. Stuffed animals that brought comfort, appliances and furniture, even sheet rock and entire walls torn up and stacked. The people shaping the forms were acting with little caution, going through the emotional toll of removing them from meaning.

When you think of sculpture, you think of certain materials, for the most part devoid of context, chosen for their attributes. The sculptor with intent uses the materials to give them meaning. Here, the formations I saw were the inverse.

From sandbags and mattresses, to toys and photo albums. These collections were people's lives, on display during their most vulnerable moments. 

Its not a nice thing to think about, but these are the most honest portrayals of possessions you will ever see. Damaged items, no longer of practical use, thrown to the side of the street. And how they were arranged displayed how they were being thought of in that moment. Some placed carefully to honor the memories connected, others haphazardly tossed and stacked.

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As bad as the damage was from Harvey, neighbors helped neighbors, communities came together, and workers came from nearby states to help clean up efforts. 

With every natural disaster and the havoc they bring, the humanity it brings out in people offers us a perspective that helps healing from the emotional toll. 


Wharton
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I’m absolutely floored by the way this flood has wiped out people’s homes. I don’t intend to benefit from this tragedy.

I’ll be selling prints and 100% of profits will be donated to local organizations and churches helping people heal and build their lives again. Each print sold will also come with an extra print from my last gallery show for free. Requests will be honored if available.

If you do not wish for a print but want to donate, please reach out and I can give you a list of places to send donations. 

Framing by a zugunruhe

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Living in NYC has given me an appreciation for how the surface of a city evolves.

How structures decay, how paint cracks, how advertisements fade, how posters are torn, how the proximity of salt water affects discoloration, how taggers write over others' tags.

Everything comes together in such a beautiful symphony of color and texture, caused by both time and human intervention, that I wanted to capture it in some way other than an iPhone photo here and there (although you can find many on my personal IG: @adamziegenhals).

I will admit that introducing the frame to these photos feels kitschy and hokey. My aim wasn't to make a bunch of Instagram shots and postcards, but to focus the view where I felt a confluence of the project's aim. In the process of shooting—hours spent wandering neighborhoods—I found the frame useful in highlighting what I wanted to capture. It sometimes became the subject itself, leading to some of my favorite shots.

I had the idea of lugging around a frame to do this project for a while, but finding these amazing, albeit beat up, gold frames in a SoHo trash heap kicked things off. How better to frame instances of disregarded beauty, than with an actual discarded frame?
 


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