The advent of the digital SLR, and later of the smartphone, has changed what it
means to be a photographer—has complicated the difference between “person who
photographs” and “photographer”—has drawn attention finally to the unnecessary
South Pointe Park, 2011
When I was fifteen my father drove me to Little Havana where I photographed the Elian Gonzalez protests. Police, who’d been tear-gassing residents, stopped us and searched my dad. I remember being asked to give up the film in my camera, my father saying something inaudible in the chaos, and being eventually shooed away. To be allowed to keep my film that day had meant something to me because it was all that I had with which to hold an image.
The Clipper, 2011
Miami Metro Rail, 2003
Miami’s beauty is drunk and severe, it wasn’t until I moved away that I understood.
In San Francisco, squinting under sprinkling mist, I waited in vain for
thunder and lightning to satisfy me.
Photography is special in its ability to trespass on other representative systems. The
verbs we use as photographers tell us; we take and we capture images, we burn
them on silver coated surfaces. There is a suggestion of solicitous destruction of the
actual and the lived, which, as a point of departure for conventional photography, is
only deepened by the digital experience. Digital: relating to touch, to the index finger
landing on a surface and signifying thereby—I save, I delete, I send to oblivion, I
disseminate to the world, I like, I bear witness to and dignify.
Miami International Airport, 2017
Ian’s House, 2017
The city of Miami has destruction within its history, character and destiny. It builds
and demolishes infamously—one is discouraged from vocally liking any one
landmark, as this is a guarantee that it will be leveled soon after. The “magic city”
might be aesthetically enchanting, but it is also a literal site of true, practiced and
informed mysticism unmatched by any other metropolitan area of the U.S., except
New Orleans. The communication with syncretic religions and cultures of the
Caribbean can be found everywhere, in the routine and in un-obscured realms.
There is an urban ecology of transience that informs the viewer, manages the image
and dissociates the photographer. This is more compatible with late and recent
photographic models, whose structures of rapid composition, editing and deleting
often mirror the regenerative personality of the city.
Ian and Francis, New Year’s Eve, 2011
It’s the only U.S. city that automatically reads me as native born. Like the digital
image that appears and dissolves, flashing and ungraspable, eternal in its
tenuousness, this city has more in common with impressions than it does with
propriety; it is a passage that foreshadows the immaterial, and in this way defies