“Ruins are wonderful because they are the beginning of something new,
you can do something with them.”
– Anselm Kieffer
Initially I was drawn to the aesthetic qualities that large industrial facilities, power stations and related infrastructure offered. The sheer scale of some of these locations and remnant machinery and artifacts abandoned created a great surreal atmosphere. Some facilities were recently vacated and you had the sense that people could return back to work the next day. I quickly discovered the interesting and sorted histories of these facilities were far more complicated than they first appeared and that a factory is much more than just a place to work in a small town. The reasons why each location closed down was slightly different, off-shoring, redundancy (particularly American owned plants in Canada), labor disputes, and lack of necessity, however the effects of the closures on their respective communities were the same, devastation. While it is easy to offshore manufacturing work to the third world, the community remains and rarely recovers. The state of many of these factories directly reflects the state the communities they reside in, depressed and under utilized. Many factories remained for the large part wholly intact, but after the recession in late 2007 many locations developed serious issues with people scrapping various metals from remnant machinery, a clear reflection of the economics of these once thriving communities. How and when this will change remains largely to be seen, but the tension in these transitory moments has been interesting to document and is one I hope won’t be subject to selective remembrance in the future.