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Hard of Housing

The closure of Little Mountain Public Housing, Vancouver

Russ' Appendix

When I first started photographing in the abandoned Little Mountain Public Housing project, I approached it with a straight photographic documentary point of view. That approach soon proved to be insufficient to express the displacement, the loneliness and the despair of those uprooted, and those who remain in this semi-ghost town in the middle of a major Canadian city.

I started bringing all of my current photographic experiments into the public housing project, and the sight of me and my often weird gear brought me into contact with the building caretakers, the public utility guys, the security guards and some of the remaining habitants. While my practice is not to photograph people, all of these contacts have proven invaluable in shaping my understanding and subsequent imaging of this vanishing neighborhood.  The building caretakers have kept me up to date on the latest and greatest guerrilla public art going up as giant panels around the site, the public utility guys usually have tidbits of information on the future, the security guards are mostly pests, and the local habitants are able to explain the meanings in the guerrilla public art.

My collection of photographs now include straight photography, slit-scan photography made with a modified Holga camera, pinhole photography made with my homemade Drãnoflex camera, and extra-long exposure large format photography enabled with my proprietary homebrew chemistry. 

I’ve always got fresh experiments brewing, and by visiting Little Mountain and making pictures, I hope to witness rebirth.

For more information on my techniques, click here for our Techniques page.