Bunker Mentality is one of my attempts to bring a New Journalsim attitude to visual storytelling. Many of the photos depict an altered reality; one that, hopefully, illlustrates actual reality in a much deeper way than could be achieved through straight up documentary work. Basically, it's looking for Truth with a capital T. Any photo you see may, or may not, be strictly factual. For the sake of journalistic integrity, it's best to consider Bunker Mentality a work of fiction.This project came about during an interesting time for me. In the Spring of 2012, I had read an article about psilocybin and how a researcher was running an off-the-books experiment in which people took small doses daily for health purposes. I wondered if that would benefit my health, decided to try it out, and was three or four months into it by the time fall rolled around and I finally got around to biking out to the Rockaways, where I discovered the bunkers at Fort Tilden Park, and developed something of a bunker mentality.
Normally, the slight effect I would notice from my morning cup of mushroom tea would be positive, but inside those bunkers, many of which were fillled with swastikas and other racist graffiti, I flet a deep sickness and existential dread. Meanwhile, we were in the last stage of the Presidential election, which was also brought a lot of racists and other haters out of the woodwork, and left me feeling sick and dreadful when I'd give in and pay attention to it. And technically, I'd just come off the final shoot for my Curious People project, in which I had used a lot of flash with gels to get the lighting I thought best.
So it all came together: the societal sickness, deased nature and politics, existential dread, and manufactured colors.
My Bunker Mentality.