Since the summer of 2013, I have documented the decay and regrowth of this abandoned property. When the house stood, the project began as an attempt to appreciate the detail in the remnants. I observed how nature slowly began to take up new root. Upon returning less than a year later, the house stood no longer - it had been burned to the ground. From that point on, the project slowly developed beyond nature’s struggle to reclaim the forgotten, and instead became an exploration of what comes after.
Every visit thereafter revealed a monumental change in the environment. Cleanup crews worked on clearing the burnt rubble and personal belongings but eventually ceased their efforts due to unforeseen reasons.
Again, the former home was forgotten.
During my visits, I would periodically collect ephemera; notes, photographs, and cassette tapes. The recordings from the tapes were mostly phone conversations between the previous owner and his real estate colleagues. The conversations were eerily void of anything personal; names, phone numbers, and businesses were always omitted. A sense of history and complexity came from these recordings, considering most of the discussions touched on buying and selling other properties and larger parcels of real estate far away. Was the house I had become obsessed with documenting never actually a ‘home’? Was it just another commodity to be bought and sold? Was it purposely forgotten?
Transmuting Vacancy is still a project about the details of nature and its transformative effect on this property, but given the houses’ mysterious history, it is also an exploration of how a home, and the sheer definition of home, can transmute into something else entirely.
This project is indefinitely on-going and will be released in fragments over time..