Take Your Time
In Take Your Time, I explore the ways trains connect worlds. In looking at the railroad’s vast and interconnected systems of travel, commerce, telecommunications, and information, I perceive trains as meaning-making-logic machines; a structural device that threads seemingly disparate worlds together.
Inspired by the train’s innate ability to signify time, order, and desire, I examine the philosophical relationship between collecting and obsession within the railfan community. Most common in retired males, lifelong obsessions with train watching and railroad modeling transform suburban spaces into scaled-down constructs of time and space. In this form of simulation, the disparate collapse into each other; work and play, fantasy and the real, the young and old, and the miniature and the large. These re-constructed spaces activate prolonged simulations of nostalgia, where the past, present, and future occupy space simultaneously in a seemingly endless loop of manipulation and control.
Through this project, I look with a self-referential lens at how the act of mirroring another’s obsession takes on a form of collecting, of bringing order from chaos. By coupling myself with collectors–each represented in its collection of coded photographs–I analyze how obsession has the power to organize a collection with the intent to control the experience of time.