15 December 2008

What rooms do when we aren't there to fill them.

I haven't confessed anything lately, so what better time than now?

CONFESSION: I really love abandoned spaces, whether it's an old barn with only a few boards standing, or the first floor of my own office building when classes are over.

I enjoy the hustle and the bustle, but sights like these always make me run back to my office and grab a camera. I imagine that none of this would be so compelling without the ubiquitous fluorescent lighting, which lends just the right eerie glow.

I am now officially finished with grading for Fall 2008. This is my last semester with a full courseload, until Fall 2012, when my three year term as director of the NEOMFA concludes. So I'm savoring this year's vacancies: the clusterfuck of desks in the hall, the door frames ripped out, the desolate student lounge.

Here are a few highlights from this afternoon.

7 comments:

Jay Robinson said...

What the hell are they doing to our door frames? Are we going sans doors next semester? Is that the Akron Advantage????

Frank (the Colt) said...

I like these pictures. I'm a fan of looking outside when no one is around and things are totally quiet.

Justin Evans said...

You said a naughty word.

Penultimatina said...

Justin: I do that sometimes!

Jay: We are getting swipecard security. The wave of the future! So now I don't need to go through all 36493 of my UA building keys when I'm entering after hours.

Frank: Thank you!

Catnapping said...

saturdays and sundays in industrial-zoned neighborhoods...

growing up in the military, with the exception of 2 different years, i lived on post/base. and the base proper was abandoned on the weekends. you'd think they'd be out there saving us from the commies 24/7, yeah?

but nope. it was dead. and i loved it that way. i would wander around, sit places i wasn't supposed to and would never be allowed to were anyone around.

and that's what i remember when i visit industrial areas...places that are incredibly noisy during the workweek...with big trucks and cranes, and giant monster machines...

not so much like your empty rooms...but i think there are similarities...

i think it's the intimacy. we're in a space usually crammed with energy...too much for a room or space to think. and we come along when it's quiet...and if a room can ponder, that's when it's doin' it.

when i'm sitting on a dock enjoying the sun...listening to the wind toy with an empty wrapper, i imagine that the building i'm leaning against is doin' that too.

Frank said...

That photo of the lecture hall is awesome. Nice shot!

Michael said...

Mary-

There's an irony in my seeing this post this morning. I'm a big fan of baseball and I have a fascination with ballparks themselves.

This morning on the drive into Kansas City I passed the ballpark for the K.C. Royals. The ballpark like a horseshoe opens towards I-70. The lights above were shining down onto the field and a combination of the early morning (7:40AM) overcast sky and the snow falling, left a surreal feeling as the seats were all empty and visibility had an eerie dreamlike quality. It was lovely in its own massive void.