I've realized whilst constructing the Walking Adelaide demo website on the Square Space publishing platform that this is going to take me quite some time. Realistically, I will need all of the six months allowed by the demo to construct a skeleton of the project that would be ready to go public.
Whilst working on building the demo website I remembered that I'd walked around more than Adelaide's car-centric CBD. I had spent a lot of time walking the edgelands in, and around, the Port Adelaide precinct in the 1980s. This example is from the archives:
The picture was made on the Grand Trunkway near the Torrens Island power station. We are looking north east towards the Adelaide hills. What appeared to be wetlands was being used as, or had become, an industrial wasteland. It is a good example of edgelands in 1980s industrial Adelaide.
The picture below is near the eastern end of the Port River Estuary. The bridge for the railway from Adelaide to Port River is in the background. My photographic interest in the walking around the Port River estuary in the 1980s was topographics and edgelands. Topographics was not a popular approach to photography in Australia then, whilst edgelands was not a common subject matter for photographers in the 1980s. This type of photography was not culturally significant during the postmodernist decade whilst traditional documentary photography was held to be no longer credible.
I recall that I would often park the car opposite the Torrens Island power station then walk along the Port River estuary carrying the large format camera until I came to a fence that marked the end of public space and the beginning of corporate private property. The standard poodles would come with me on this walking the Port River, as it was far more walkable than the CBD. Adelaide as a city was developed primarily in the 20th century under a car-centric planning model.
These archival, analogue photos exemplify those accounts of photography that hold it is a retrospective medium, charged with looking back—with history, memory and nostalgia. Even though we are viewing an arrangement of pixels on a screen this archival photography offers a co-presence with the past ---what Roland Barthes in Camera Lucida termed ‘that- has-been’ tense of photography. A photograph records the time at which reflected light strikes the film, and is thus both an indexical trace of the object and a certified document of time itself.
Postmodernism evaporated by 9/11 and the culture of photography changed with digital technology. Photography is processed through machine learning as data, is assembled by algorithms, with the picture becomes a circulating networked image in social media.
I cannot currently post more of the archival, large format photography of the edgelands around Port Adelaide. My 2009 Mac Pro has died and I am waiting for the Mac Studio (an MI Max) to arrive in Adelaide. I am currently without a pro-computer and I'm unable to scan large format negatives. The exposed film in the double dark slides currently sits in the fridge.