Scheduled Implosions by Hannah Smith Allen

For the past decade, I have created artwork about war. Whether I photograph an American Revolutionary War site or contemplate how photography mediates my understanding, as an American civilian, of recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan, I consider how images of war shape our psyche and our history. In my recent work, I have abandoned battle sites all together and, instead, consider how images of violence and war permeate our fantasies and imaginations.

In my photographic series Scheduled Implosions (2014–present), I consider the temporality of our constructed landscape by photographing media coverage of building demolitions. For this series, I use a medium-format camera and instant film to shoot still images of news coverage of building demolitions found on the internet. I employ long exposures in order to make visible the tensions between the still and moving pictures. My new images offer ghostly visions of a collapsing world and point to our collective fascination with violence. They also allude to recent political events, such as the failure of Wall Street, the recent housing crash, and international conflict and war.

In addition, I have been altering the code of jpeg images to intentionally corrupt files of architectural plans. The digital corruption renders each plan useless and anticipates the inevitable collapse of each structure. These new images point to the impermanence of our world and the corruptibility of the images we create about it.

Hannah Smith Allen

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