Abrupt Transitions, Detroit (1981-83)
I first began to create multi-frame panoramas in 1981 when I was photographing in Detroit and wanted to represent changes in the urban fabric that happened as one turned a corner. No panoramic camera available to me could make a wide enough negative so I shot a series of frames. I printed these, cut them to their black edges and then collaged them onto a backing board. For some exhibitions, I enlarged the indivual frames to 20x24 each and mounted the panoramas directly on the wall.
Crater Lake, Oregon (1994)
In 1994 we drove the length of the West Coast, from Seattle to San Diego. Along the way we visited Crater Lake National Park. Although I had seen photographs of the lake, the actual experience of rising above the rim and seeing the serene blue basin was extraordinary. I made a four-frame color panorama and then added four texts, each of which addressed a different aspect of the lake’s significance.
Alpha + Omega (1994/96)
In 1994, I made a panorama of a brand new residential development being constructed on a ridge overlooking Santa Rosa, California. Later, in 1996, I made a complex multi-frame panorama of Matera, Italy. The Sassi of Matera, similar to Southwest pueblos, are some of the oldest residential structures on earth, dating back nearly ten-thousand years. I then combined the two panoramas into one work that I entitled “Alpha + Omega” (which are the first and last Greek letters and have come to mean the “beginning and the end” in Christian scripture).
Dancing the Giglio (1999)
The celebrations of religious festivals generally include rich traditions of material culture, ranging from costumes and props to decorated parade floats to some truly impressive large-scale constructions, such as the feast of San Paulinus as celebrated in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. A statue of the saint stands atop a seventy-foot tower that rises above a platform holding a ten-piece brass band and it’s all lifted up on the shoulders of about eighty men. The tower is paraded through the neighborhood with various stops and “dances” along the way. I photographed the festival several times before deciding, in 1999, to do quick multi-directional pan that reveals the complexity of the dance.
The Model of Models (1997)
In 1997 I was part of a three-artist group that made a multi-faceted work about Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Our ensemble - which included Mark Campbell and Sue Patterson - contrasted the original 1827 design of the penitentiary with its incoherent state upon its closing and examined the philosphy that originally produced it. For my contribution, I made a 24-frame circular panorama from the guard tower at the center of the complex.