Portfolio
Down with the Ship, by Brian Christopher Sargent

 

Toilet Paper 1211

from the series "Analog Epitaph"

he Plaza Facade, Street Sign

Trashcan Callbox

Urn Half, Full

Wallet Size, 7th Ave

As a researcher and film archivist, the bulk of my day is spent viewing historical images at a news archive near Times Square, where content traditionally emanated across the country in the form of print journalism, newsreels, radio, and television. New Yorkers once flocked here to collectively experience the news of the day, a distinction that has since ceded to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Having caught the gritty tail end of pre-Disney New York, my personal memories of the city, whether outrageous or banal, are interwoven with a visual recollection cultivated across a life-long devotion to archival outtakes.

While not particularly nostalgic, I am attuned to things made invisible by neglect, by relics and things disappearing or soon-to-vanish. As a researcher, I am often asked to locate objects or occurrences for which no visual record exists (an unlikely future dilemma in the age of Instagram) and so I approach the medium from opposing sides, as if I were a photographer from another time and the present a reality that manifests itself expressly for my particular vice.

Using film, I hope to situate this series in a historically oblique place, allowing this bygone approach to construct its own epitaph for the analogue environment, for the tangible remnants of an urban community.  I find myself returning to film for what feels like the last time, with an eye on impermanence and a heightened awareness of the vulnerability of the photograph as a physical artifact, of New York as a genuine place, and of this allotted time.

Brian Christopher Sargent 

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