Friday, October 14, 2011

The Aesthetics of Decay

I have to admit that I’m fond of industrial decay and the faded past. Growing up in the rust belt, where factories and industry were a part of life, it was understood that people worked for companies that made stuff. And having visited and toured a fair number of manufacturing plants I grew to appreciate the aesthetics of labor, machinery, and industrial spunk. That’s why seeing an old, abandoned facility deteriorating or a faded wall advertisement for a long-gone business opens up the imagination. Like many others, I’m drawn to the old factory building that had been a productive hub with people producing stuff until one day somebody locked the door for the last time and walked away. Was there any sentiment before the key clicked the bolt tight? Sadness, remorse, or relief? And what does one do with the key? Is it tossed out? Thrown into a junk drawer? Carried around on a key ring until someone, somewhere after death, while sorting through personal affects asks, “What’s this key for?”

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