For my Design class, we were instructed to create anything using any lasting medium representing the theme Dream. This project came at a time when I had just read Hollow City by Rebecca Solnit. It was all about the impacts of the tech economy boom on San Francisco. By focusing on the loss of artistic/bohemian culture in San Francisco, it opened up a conversation about the redefining of the American urban landscape, essentially arguing that the rapid loss occurring is leaving the city hollow.
At the same time, I was attending City College as the future of the school was at stake. Arguably, this large public institution which offers many niche classes (such as dark room printing from which I benefit) to low- and middle-class communities is threatened by privatization and greed to redevelop the land it owns. The impacts of this were openly felt and discussed by my class.
So when I was given some expired 35mm slide film the Photo Department was handing out, I created a project out of doing what I love in San Francisco- wandering and discovering in public spaces with my camera. I explored on foot and took multiple exposures in celebration of the lively and untamed. In this way, I had an outlet for the grief I feel as the character of the city is being stripped away by creating something that was dependent on its existence. In this way Dreaming as imagination at work is political.
Here are some of the images included in my handmade book: