Passenger

Artist Statment

On my first overnight train ride, the musician Laurie Anderson was playing on my iPod. The lyrics hummed through my earplugs, “This is the time. And this is the record of the time.” Until this trip, I had only photographed between New York City and Charleston, South Carolina. Now, I was resting with camera in hand on the top bunk of a roomette sleeper car heading to Glacier, Montana. Outside the window was an amber glow; we were in a train yard, I could hear muffled voices. There was a feeling of mystery and comfort. Half asleep only knowing I was somewhere between West Virginia and Chicago, I wondered where we were, why we had stopped, who were the voices. I knew the next time I opened my eyes the landscape would be different.

Traveling by train became my access point to photographing the American landscape.

To begin each trip I research routes, maps and seasons to determine the path and time of year. From my seat, I gain a privileged view of scenes that are not accessible by foot, plane, or car. The train is my moving studio on a predetermined path, allowing me to focus on fleeting scenery and time passing. Viewing from a distance, I sit on the edge of my seat patiently waiting for the split second when the elements of humanity and nature intersect.

As the train glides tethered to the earth, I capture this time as a lasting and overlooked record of civilization.