Fort McMurray is a place where the usual laws of the universe just don’t apply sometimes. In this case I am referring to the Penhorwood Condo’s. On January 15, 2015 these contentious masses of timber, concrete, steel, glass and siding began to be torn down using machines with claws. Lots of writings and news stories have been dedicated to these condo’s, their development, their condemnation, the way that residents were alerted by fire fighters that they needed to evacuate immediately, and the fact that owners have had to continue to pay taxes, fees, mortgages and so forth, even whilst no access has been allowed since 2011.
Since I am living and working right across the street from these buildings that are coming down, I have decided to spend some time photographing their take down.
For more information and background simply look up The Penhorwood Condos in Fort McMurray.
A few choice Links: http://globalnews.ca/news/863251/fort-mcmurrays-penhorwood-condos-are-coming-down/ (includes many interior photographs of decay, otherwise known as Ruin Porn).
An unescorted tour: http://globalnews.ca/video/873916/penhorwood-condo-tour
Globe and Mail: Fort McMurray cracks under oil boom’s strain
“Where is Fort McMurray” is a webspace for thinking about spatial questions in regards to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
Spatial questions, and in particular Spatialization refers to the inter-relationships between people and places. Spatialization is a term developed and theorized by Dr. Rob Shields, Henry Marshall Tory Chair at the University of Alberta.
As a student of Dr. Shields, I have been a student of Spatialization for the better part of the last decade. Of great influence has been the Journal Space and Culture as well as the compendium blog site spaceandculture.com.
When I first established this particular webspace my intention was to use it as a way to show-off some of the work I did while working on a PhD in Sociology at the University of Alberta. In particular Where is Fort McMurray emerged as a focusing question for field work with youth.
Now, in 2015 I have found myself in Fort McMurray once again, this time teaching Sociology at Keyano College.
At this point I want to work to establish this site as a kind of case study, or working geography for the Photographer-Researcher.
The Photographer-Researcher is that which I call my own method.
I plan to write more in detail about this method, so for now I will close this post.