Space Between Buildings image1

The space between buildings
At the heart of this montage series are the spaces between many San Francisco buildings. For each image, I photograph the narrow space between adjacent buildings, starting at the top, taking as many photos as needed to get to the bottom. Later, in my studio, I piece together the images based on my notes from the field. These spaces, often as narrow as one inch, create an interface that is neither private nor public. They make me think about belonging, and the line between being an insider and an outsider.

Selected journal entries
Date: September 30, 2006
Time: afternoon
Site: between 258 & 260 Lexor St., Daly City
Space dimensions (approximate): 6 inches
Comments: Looking for suburbia with Beate and Nuno. As I watch light gleaming through the space, a woman leans out the window to see what’s going on. I say, “hello,” and we chat. I explain my interests, and she says that on Willits St. there are larger spaces between buildings that I might want to photograph. I don’t mention that is it the tiny spaces that intrigue me.

Date: October 1, 2006
Time: early evening
Site: between 406 & 408 Sánchez St., Castro District, San Francisco
Space dimensions (approximate): 5 foot gateway in front, 4 inches in back.
Comments: How public is this little space between the houses? Is it public at all? Who owns it, the city, the people on either side?

Date: October 1, 2006
Time: early evening
Site: corner of Sánchez and 17th Street, Castro District, San Francisco
Space dimensions (approximate): 8 feet at the gate in front, 3 inches at the back.
Comments: A woman, leaving the house next to the one I’m photographing, asks me if I want to buy the property. I explain what I am doing. She tells me it is a space that captures hurricanes (it currently has whirlpools of leaves). “ Even possessed,” she muses. “I’ve seen it all, like Carey, it’s bad. It’s possessed.” A man, her friend I guess, pulls her away as if she is telling too much. I’m fascinated.

Date: October 1, 2006
Time: early evening
Site: between 461 & 467 Sánchez St., Castro District, San Francisco
Space dimensions (approximate): 1 inch a the bottom, 3 inches at the top.
Comments: This building space is wider at the top on the left side, and wider at the bottom on the right side. Is it leaning? Or are the houses on each side just not parallel? I’m at the end of film roll #7, and note that the word “true” in carpentry means to line up straight. These homes and buildings don’t line up, I wonder what that says about San Francisco.

Individual Estates

The Space Between Buildings art project building image

The Space Between Buildings art project rain image

The Space Between Buildings art project pipe image

The Space Between Buildings art project light image

an interface,
a breathing space.
insulation, isolation.
a slit, a slice,
a gate.
an inch, a foot, a yard.

Neighborhoods of spaces

The Space Between Buildings neighborhood 1

The Space Between Buildings neighborhood 2

The Space Between Buildings neighborhood 3

first long image for The Space Between Buildings

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