Artist Statement Written by Matthew Roderick for Master's Degree in Photography at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.
The human condition has become inundated with a new type of simulated landscape completely transformed with supplanted vegetation by modern machinery. The visually impoverished cultural landscape is emblazoned with abandoned structures and dominating technology inherent in consumer oriented, planned obsolescence philosophies. Dilapidated structures of yesterday play a maligned role in the contamination of ground water and soil, impacting local economies and surrounding communities. A highly formalized cultural collective numbness (anesthetic) is the byproduct that manifests from such a dismal and absolute aesthetic. This work raises questions concerning the vernacular of the everyday plagued with the banality, flatness and expediency of materials.
In the age of advancement through the realization of building and refinement of efficient processes via technology, the contradiction of discarded spaces becomes ever-present. The land is sold as a disposable commodity, while it is actually a limited resource, often becoming riddled with a web of power lines, artificially sculpted space, polluted environments and concrete. The new design of corporate landscape prevails with a crowded disorder of buildings, factories, fences, tanks, and machinery. Shadows of the past remain as a result of tunnel vision without any sense of responsibility for the remnants and people left behind.
Nature makes a futile attempt to regenerate itself amongst the carnage of buildings and eroded foundations present in the cities and towns of a consumer-laden society. These skeletal structures, once used for both housing and business of working individuals, decompose and deteriorate seeping into the soil and groundwater contaminating the area for future generations. In a day and age when we spend more money on military defense to bring foreign enemies to their knees, these same finances could be used to clean up detestable business practices and rebuild the lives of humans that inhabit these catastrophic environments.