September 12, 2015 through October 06, 2015

Mark Crummett

Featuring work from a number of Mark’s series, a window into the reality of his imaginary landscapes!

My photographs play with scale, and in doing so, also touch on the deeper idea of our relationships – with technology, with the world around us, with ourselves and with each other. By recontextualizing the 3/4”-tall HO-scale model railroad figures, I let them help drive the narrative. Removed from their industrial-age, mid-century, middle American environment, what other stories do they have to tell?
Because I’m distorting the expected scale, there’s often a playful, dreamlike quality to my images. To me, this reflects the increasing absurdity of “real life.” Which is stranger- worshiping a 10-foot-tall vacuum tube, or standing in days-long line to buy the latest tech toy? The universe, it’s said, is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can Imagine. ~ Mark Crummett

Mark Crummett was raised in a house full of art in a suburb of Washington, DC. His father, Clovis Crummett, was a writer, photographer, painter and assemblage artist, and an important early influence. Self-taught in photography since his teens, he was a photographer, photojournalism instructor and editor in the US Army. After earning his journalism degree from Oregon State University, he worked as a newspaper photographer in Maryland and a digital picture editor in Virginia. Along the way he earned a couple of computer certifications.
He now combines his interest in technology and visual art. “I find the stuff inside a computer even more interesting and mysterious than the stuff it can do,” he says. He now uses technological castoffs as his raw material and subject matter. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Lisa.

Prints are available as:
Bare Prints 10” x 15” – $150
12” x 18” Matted $300 or Framed $450
Canvas Prints 24” x 30” Framed (no glass) $500

Series specific statements

Ghost in the Machine: The “ghosts” in these machines are just folks, dwarfed by the technology that pervades their lives. Engaged in enigmatic activities in an out-of-scale, high tech landscape, workers toil on industrial-scale electronic components or move through an out-sized industrial/technical environment. Engineer-priests, in tune with the energy that informs the space, and residents, fraught with their problems, dreams and ambitions, are all apparently at ease with the visual paradox that is their backdrop. They become part of the landscape of technology, and technology becomes their landscape.

Pilgrimage: When the engineer-priests who minister and administer the world of “Ghosts in the Machine” finish their training, they embark on a Pilgrimage to see, touch and commune with some of the holy sites that inform their beliefs.

Climbing Jumping Falling Flying: It’s a common dream, falling, flying. It’s a long way up, sometimes worth it. Sometimes we jump, sometimes we’re pushed. The hardest part is deciding to make the leap. But inevitably, a decision is made; embrace the choice and revel in it. It’s a long way down. Falling becomes flying. Landing is another choice.

Real Life: Photographed on Portland-area model railroad club layouts, “Real Life” takes an almost photojournalistic approach to finding the telling moment and spotting the absurd elements that sometimes intrude. It’s just like our world, perhaps a bit smaller, but often just as odd. Oversize bunnies may appear at times, but life goes on.

Candyland: Candyland is a place of bright colors and strange, oversized, sticky delights. Where chocolate bunnies eye fearless little girls and gummi bears sometimes need a little talking-to. In other words, it’s like here, just a little sweeter.

Taken: A mysterious beam of light in an otherwise ordinary situation has the power to change everything. Whether removing our elders or delivering an emissary, nothing will ever be the same again.

Unexpected Monuments: Who might we have been? What could have been important to us? Who might we have honored? An exploration of an alternate history, as viewed through public art. 

Blue Heron Mill: Willamette Falls, in Oregon City, has long held an under-appreciated significance in the history of this country and this state. It was, for example, the location of the first hydroelectric generating plant west of the Rocky Mountains. It was, and still is, the home of paper mills large and small. 
More than two dozen regional artists documented the former Blue Heron paper mill site in October 2014 prior to its redevelopment. The Ghosts and I explored some of the previously unknown technological advancements that could have been undertaken at the site.

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