Cherished Belongings is a series of photographs of discarded items I encounter on the streets in Los Angeles. I see these objects on my daily walks through my neighborhood, and I’ve been making images of them since I moved here in 2016.
I’m fascinated and enchanted by the transience of objects. The items in my photographs are unique to our time and place, and I’m catching them in a sort of purgatory between use and disposal. It feels like I’m walking through an archaeological site, but nothing’s been buried, yet.
Our belongings are a conjunction of our internal and external worlds: they are how we project who we are or who we want to be. They are symbols and social cues of identity, taste, class, even our mental state. Discarded on the street, they are separated from human meaning and now, through my lens, they are emotionally abstracted, reduced to simple, repetitive pictorial objects.
These discarded items offer an overlap of the private and public spheres, revealing a spectrum of human experiences. I see chaos and crisis, apathy and carelessness, transition, organization and stability. These objects are crumbs that I am following to try and understand where we all end up. What is the physical summation of a life?
These images are almost entirely made with my iPhone. It feels right to photograph the objects of our time with a camera technology that will almost surely be obsolete in a matter of years. My iPhone is an object that will meet the same fate as most of the belongings it has photographed for this series: to eventually decompose slowly in a landfill, long stripped of its purpose and meaning. My hope is that this series -- including the camera medium -- can offer a historical document of the things we bought, used, and threw away.