Stephen Wilkes‘ “Day to Night” series captures the day-to-night transitions that occur in familiar cityscapes. Each image represents a collection of moments, not just a singular moment in time. About 50 photographs out of around 1,500 shots taken over the course of 12-15 hours comprise each single resulting photograph. During his shoots, Wilkes doesn’t allow himself bathroom breaks and when he eats, he eats meals brought to him in a bucket because it’s imperative that the photographer pay careful attention to the emptiness or potential overlaps of each shot. Wilkes’ composite photographs document movements within the same space from sunrise to sunset, each image capturing the transitions these spaces undergo on a daily basis.
For Time, Wilkes offers a descriptive caption of many images. Of his Wrigley Field photograph he explains, “This photograph was taken during the course of a Day/Night double header, a rare occurrence these days in major league baseball. Wrigley Field is the Grand Temple of baseball parks. It will change dramatically within the next year, as large jumbotrons will be installed into the stadium, forever changing this view. While the morning was sunny and clear, the afternoon made for a real challenge photographically. We had rain showers on and off throughout the day, and into the evening.”
For his series, “The Architecture of Density,” German photographer Michael Wolf captures the intense suffocating density of the city of Hong Kong. The framing of the buildings and apartment units creates a flattened, patterned image with details of individual residencies apparent only on closer inspection. The result is an abstraction that gives the appearance of infinity, as if these incredibly compact and dense structures never end. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the world, with an overall density of around 6,700 people per square kilometer, a fact you may recall from a previously featured photography series of the city’s cramped slums.
Wolf’s work is primarily concerned with urban landscapes and places, not always in such an objective, distanced manner. His series, Tokyo Compression, captures Tokyo subway users’ faces pressed up onto the glass of the subway car, a result of the overcrowding of this form of transportation. No matter the proximity to his subjects, Wolf offers a new perspective on the movement and energy of city life in his documentation of its density. (via curious history)
For Portable Cities, Chinese artist Yin Xiuzhen constructs small-scale cities out of discarded clothing and other fabric inside suitcases that she also equips with speakers, giving each city its own soundtrack. Each suitcase also has a small hole you can peer into to see an actual map of the constructed city. For installations, Xiuzhen maps the cities with string on the gallery wall. Xiuzhen was inspired by her own travels, waiting for her luggage, and the sense that she was traveling with her home. Some of the cities she has constructed include Berlin, Vancouver, Seattle, New York, and her hometown of Beijing.
“People in our contemporary setting have moved from residing in a static environment to becoming souls in a constantly shifting transience. The suitcase becomes the life support container of modern living…” she told Walker Art. “The holder of the continuous construction of a human entity.” via
The work of Matthew Picton is something more than a map, even something more than a model city. He meticulously builds cities from paper. Each buildings wall is built from a strip of paper leaving its interior empty. In a way his three dimensional maps get at the personality of a city. Speaking about cartography Picton says,
“There is some intrinsic quality to cartography that goes beyond the scientific document – a beauty of form and detail, a record of past times and places, something that lives as a world in which imagination can flow; places to re-visit, places to re-imagine, a world to re-make itself in the imagination.” [via]
Several of his pieces depict cities before and after a natural disaster or war. The charred strips of paper mark burnt or crumbled buildings. Pockets of burnt paper seem more like injuries than a cold record of a past fact.
These are not photos of miniatures or models. Rather these are images from photographer Ben Thomas‘ Cityshrinker series and are actual cities around the world. Thomas uses what is called a ’tilt-shift technique’. Among other things, the technique basically corrects the distortion caused by perspective. This correction often has the appearance of miniaturizing the camera’s subject. Thomas’ images present the world as if it were a toy. Some of the world’s largest cities seem to shrink into playful places. The images turn a lighthearted eye onto some of our favorite places. [via]