...has been a photographic subject that I have enjoyed since starting it in the oil fields that surrounded my home town of Burkburnett back in the late 1950's. The oil would cake the sand and the softer areas would be blown or washed away by weather; fire would sculpt wood; rust would wear away and sculpt metal; the mud in the river bottom would dry and crack or wind would move the lower branches of plants into graceful arcs in the sand.
I didn't have a name for it for many years but I was always photographing what I thought of as unplanned design. Design that was from circumstance rather than conscious intent. What I now call Randomness.
I know that graffiti is planned, it is intended. But there are things that happen during the painting of the graffiti--paint runs and drips, surfaces create breaks in the application of the paint. Things happen after the fact--the surface weathers, glass is broken or cracked. Things that are not planned--which are random in nature. I find it fascinating to find my own design within these random happenings.
I have been photographing one of my favorite places in Houston, a building on the corner of Yale and 12th Street since Hurricane Ike. While our electricity was out Janet and I spent a lot of time in the air conditioned car driving around looking for randomness. The graffiti always stays around long enough for the weather and additional graffiti to affect the work. It also gets a fair share of posters, something that generally weathers more interestingly than graffiti. But unfortunately when we stopped by a few days ago the building in being renovated. Another favorite place an old Target (I think) store on the corner of Parker and Shepherd fell to the wrecking ball a year or so ago. As the inner city gets more yuppiefied it is losing it's interesting ambience.