All artists are products of their time and good artists reflect that in their work. They do this by not only using the tools available to them in a particular point in history to their fullest capacity (and beyond) but also by tapping into the surrounding zeitgeist and reflecting the mood of a culture in their artwork. Here in the United States in 2013 we are confronted with a myriad of contradictions and anxieties. A devastating tornado in Oklahoma and politicians denying the existence of climate change, powerful people advocating for immigration limits while that same class of people depends on immigrants for a myriad of menial jobs, Corporations crushing the idea of a middle class and trying their damnedest to not pay taxes while extracting all they can from a government they are cheating. I can go on and on but that will just get me too depressed and angry. The U.S. is becoming a third world country where there are the people in power and everyone else. There is no middle.
Lately I have been photographing Times Square and notice that I keep making images like the one above, unconsciously commenting on the society that I find myself in. I don’t realize it at the time I am making the picture. I only realize it later at the editing stage. These images feel more to me like the idea behind Navigation Without Numbers, that sense of being unmoored and adrift; nothing in society to use as an anchor. My thought right now then is to incorporate the images I have been making in Times Square with the images I have and (I guess) will now continue to make for Navigation Without Numbers. NWN will be the umbrella idea for my image making for the time being.
Update: The lists of Societal ills continue (great photographs):
The New York Ties Lens Blogs