Security Questions

In this series I’m addressing a divide between the complexity of a person, or a situation, or nature itself, and the inadequacy of the systems we use to organize and assess them. The work is also about my own feelings of existential malaise and a persistent worry about being perfect – as an artist, as a teacher, as a father, as a human. It’s also about banality and emptiness as a byproduct of order and progress.

For example, with the picture Bomb Threat Questionnaire, there is this enormous divide between a mundane operations manual and the reality of the situation it’s intended for. Similarly, with Security Questions (which consists of a compiled list of popular security questions), there is something absurd and endearing about them, but also melancholic. It reads like a guide to small talk for computers, as if everyone could be uniquely understood by these same awkwardly-worded questions about first pets and high school mascots.

In a similar vein, Sunset Captcha was made in response to a captcha prompt I encountered where I was presented with a grid of photographs and asked to identify which contained sunsets in order to prove I was human. I liked to think of it as a computer asking me for help to understand beauty or the sublime. The Billboard pieces are about organization and disorientation, with the blank billboard serving as the sole area of respite. Correct Angles, which consists of nine images of the same set of security cameras, came out of my obsessive anxiety with finding the right picture paired with the operator’s concern about camera placement to maximize utility.

All of the other pieces are loosely within the same realm – a light tower left observing an abandoned construction site, a parking lot with only monochrome cars. Anonymity, or maybe a lack of specificity, is an important part of the work for me. I don't want it to be about a specific person or place, but rather a generalized feeling.

Sign up to our weekly newsletter

Stay in the loop

We will send you weekly news on contemporary photography. You can change your mind at any time. We will treat your data with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy. By ticking here, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with them. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.