Posted on October 22, 2015 @ 10:01:00 PM by Paul Meagher
An object that I like to photograph is an abandoned incinerator nestled into in a nice piece of nature. Here is a photo taken a week ago.
The incinerator was part of an old lumber mill and they probably used it to burn the wood waste they generated. Nowadays this wood waste
is considered valuable and used downstream somewhere but in those days it was incinerated. Hence the incinerator.
The incinerator is logically positioned next to a sizeable pond in case some embers set off a fire.
The incinerator no longer bears a logical or functional relationship to the landscape and we are left to wonder whether the incinerator might at least bear an aesthetic relationship to the landscape. For me it does. It has a steampunk vibe going on. It has an appealing form, symmetries, and a contrasting color which I think adds to, rather than detracts from, the overall vista.
The incinerator is an object without purpose. Thoughts of what I might do with the incinerator start to insinuate themselves into my consciousness if I stare at it too long.
As I stare it starts to look like a retro rocket ship. When the ship lands, the platform and rails at the top extend out to allow for habitat observation from a high vantage point. The heat shield at the top is electronically controlled making it easy to use both during flight and to exit the rocket ship for habitat observation. The rust is a projection to make the ships advanced technology look inconspicuous.
Then I start to see the incinerator is a cool living space. A welder and some carpenters could build a unique tiny house from this frame.
Or maybe the incinerator can be given new life as a production facility of some sort. Maybe it can be used to create compost
(it does have side doors allowing you to drive a vehicle into it), biochar, or bioenergy of some sort. Perhaps in its next life it will atone for all the carbon sins it committed.
Or maybe it will be an Outfitter office and lounge area. A unique service and entertainment area that will help draw people to this remote location to enjoy nature and the company of others.
What makes this an interesting photographic subject is the purposelessness of the incinerator and freedom this gives to re-imagine what its purpose might be.
Or you can accept that the incinerator is bereft of functional purpose having only an aesthetic role to play. The camera is used to convey an aesthetic appreciation. A brown platonic form pleasingly set against a backdrop of contrasting hues and shapes. Suggestive of an alien presence in the landscape.