about the rutland project
Nestled in the soft hills of southern Ohio there is a place called Skatopia. A magical place in Rutland that has been at the center of many urban legends in the skateboard and punk rock scenes. It is an isolated patch of land where over the years some of the nicest skateboard ramps have been built. Year after year people from across the country make their pilgrimage to skate the bowls and party with one another. It is a bit of a lawless place where any thing goes. There are no real rules other than if you live there and skate the ramps you have to work the land for an hour a day. Some how it works, actually quit well. It is interesting to record what people do when they have freedom. The project is about recording this place and all the wonderful people that come to be a part of it every year.
statement about the work
My photographic process has always been about documenting people and place to create records of the ordinary - and, through that process, finding poetry within the mundane. Creating large-scale panoramic photographs allows me to show simultaneously details and relationships at multiple spacial and perceptual levels—for example, both the self-conscious way a young woman holds her hand by her side as she allows someone to photograph her, as well as her place in the sea of people around her engaged in a similar task. It allows me to show a sweeping view of the cityscape from a distance, while simultaneously revealing the fine details of the scales of a fish that a boy proudly displays for the camera.
The photographs are on average around 85 inches long (there is also a 44 inch long version). They are ultrachrome inkjet prints, printed on a Epson 9800. Generally I assemble 6 to 8 separate images in PhotoShop to create almost a 360 view.