I have been playing at the idea and practice of reading cemeteries for a very long time. I was struck by the realization that, inside the given of a cultural landscape, cemeteries had neighborhoods and enclaves that were as distinct and open to interpretation as any street or cityscape. Before moving to Oregon, most of my wandering have been within cemeteries that had been established well before 1850, and the majority of Civil War headstones marked the graves of men killed during the war. That is why I was struck my the number of grave markers for Civil War veterans, most of whom were from the upper Midwest and who had died as very old men after moving to Oregon. These men and their cemetery told a much different story about Eugene and the evolution of Oregon as a whole.
When I originally envisioned this project, I anticipated using a mix of video and stills with voiceover and text. My still photos were much stronger than my video bits, and I was getting wigged out at the amount of voiceovers I would need to record. The final project, therefore, is all stills with a lot of text. [Note: The date on the final should read 2014, and I know through doesn’t have two ts.]