Friday, July 17, 2009

Destroit: Abandonment Tourism

So my wonderful uncle, aka @stonebits, aka the artist / critic / consumer behind the equally wonderful visual culture blog, "On Art" has asked me to accompany him to Detroit while he takes photos of decay, refuse, rot, and char in the many abandoned automotive plants, hospitals, book depositories, and hotels that lie within blocks of Detroit's downtown areas. I am in Detroit now, amazed at the ways in which a booming industrial hub has become abandoned and has been barely maintained despite numerous attempts at urban renewal. And, naturally I feel funny driving a rental car into the ghetto to take pictures of Packard Plants that are literally falling apart.

According to Patrick Austin's flickr page, "Built ~ 1907-1909 and designed by Albert Kahn, this is the first reinforced concrete plant to be built in this country (maybe the first rebar structure in the US of any kind?)."

In addition to these amazing portraits of decay, there's some amazing signature-graf down here, so I figured I would post up some flix of impressive stuff. Expect more at Ferrante's blog within the following weeks.

[a SYN piece see inside the aformentioned Packard Plant]

[WTF factor: Kids (I hope?) decorated this abandoned house with stuffed animals]

[a necessary close-up]

[The largest abandoned building I've ever come across, formerly the Michigan Central Station, saved from demolition just this year by one Detroit resident that sued the city to keep it intact. If you can see the tiny little ants in yellow T-shirts in the bottom right corner, those were restoration volunteers planting green stuff around the entrance. Yesterday they were blasting graffiti (good luck) off of the outside of the building]

[another necessary close-up]

[Hella UniQ skinny-letter style like I've never seen on the East Coast. The rounded ends make them look like fingers forming into awkward gang-signs.]


[Urban spelunking killed the cat.]

So yeah, we're gonna go see Xrin Arms tonight- such perfect timing- at this raver/noise/experimental night... He's apparently playing Providence (DIY, all ages) on the 28th of July, and Boston (rock-club, 21+) on the 29th with support from tekno-noise-glitch locals So_So_Gutter and Encanti!!

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