These photos were commissioned by friends of mine in the United States who recently moved into a new house and wanted images for their walls.
The husband, a sociology professor, suggested the idea of the apartment complexes because of the “symmetrical quality… that emphasizes the ‘sameness’ of the apartments, but only from a distance. Once you get closer it becomes all the more clear that minor variations are abound. That says a lot about how we judge people as well as places…I guess in the end, I am looking for a very sophisticated urban ‘where’s waldo.'”
About this image, he said: “The symmetry and incredibly modest variation is just so sexy and exciting because you’ve somehow managed to create the variation with getting just the right angle, which creates the variation in window glare, rather than just finding a building where all these personal things are hanging from the porches, which is a little more simplistic (although exciting too). This picture demands symmetrical comparison between sides and what is so cool is that they should be mirror images and yet their not … and yet they are — that sort of tension is cool to me.
About the top images, he said: “The picture is so clean and sharp while also being sort of dreary and fended-off. Again, the idea that this picture did not want to be taken so tickles me. Further, the lights in the ceiling of the top floor are also just those life-sucking florescent lights that fill offices everywhere. Also, it reminds me of a famous quote from a contemporary sociologist: work is now a have away from home. I think about these people’s jobs and wonder if they dread going home as much as they dread leaving here. There is also a sort of intimacy here based on its closeness (compared to the others) that asks you to peek in and at not-too-far of a distance away — maybe this is even my favorite.
“Chance and chance alone has a message for us. Everything that occurs out of necessity, everything expected, repeated day in and ay out, is mute. Only chance can speak to us. We read its message much as gypsies read the images made by coffee grounds at the bottom of a cup.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, page 48.