SpeculationWorld and other photos
September 9, 2018 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Arrested Development: "In his predominately aerial photographs, Daniel Kariko evaluates the landscape of Florida’s many stalled residential developments, most of which were initiated and abandoned in the previous decade’s housing crisis." SpeculationWorld: Topography of Real Estate Crisis in Florida, a photography series.

More photography series from Daniel Kariko:

Suburban Symbiosis: Insectum domesticus

Insects find way into our homes no matter how vigilant we are in our effort to keep the nature on the outer side of our windowpanes. During my investigation of suburban experience, I started recording the indoor wildlife consistent with the environment my subdivision occupies.

Substitute Cartography

This series investigates the commoditization of landscape. Photographed in various locations and seemingly unconnected, these images range from humorous to ironic. Some photographs present strictly fake-as-real landscape, and others discuss the consumption of the world that surrounds us.

Storm Season- Louisiana’s Endangered Wetlands: Polaroid Type 55 Pinhole Photographs

This series of photographs represents a long-term investigation of disappearing wetlands and barrier islands in south Louisiana, due to human and natural activity.

Balkan Summer: Tales of Yugoslavian Diaspora

I was born in Yugoslavia. Until I was seventeen, I lived in the town of Novi Sad, in Northern Serbia.
posted by mandolin conspiracy (16 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a kid in the early 1950s, we took several vacations in Florida. One of my main memories was seeing vast unfinished building projects, large areas subdivided with plumbing laid out and half built houses already falling apart. Also lots of unfinished mansions left to decay. Looked surprisingly like these photos. I wonder if some of them are on the same sites as the earlier wreckage.
posted by charlesminus at 4:29 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]

The mind boggling one to me is the photo showing a neat little square of green lawn around a house surrounded by brown vacant lots. Someone is living there and watering that yard, writing from within my little apartment I can't imagine what that must be like - to be urban and not at the same time. And also to be rural and not. I don't imagine they walk anywhere.
posted by deadwax at 4:40 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]

The mind boggling one to me is the photo showing a neat little square of green lawn around a house surrounded by brown vacant lots.

Being that one house surrounded by wasteland is somehow very appealing to me. I think I would try to buy up surrounding lots at firesale prices. Kind of amazing how little is growing, though. Did the developers salt the earth?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:56 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]

Kind of amazing how little is growing, though. Did the developers salt the earth?

I was wondering the same thing. Maybe they stripped the topsoil and landscaped in preparation for laying sod, but never got around to the sod?
posted by clawsoon at 5:07 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]

I find pictures like this very sad. Such a massive loss of habitat - good land scraped bare and thrown away and for what? For what?
posted by um at 5:31 PM on September 9 [12 favorites]

Since the last caption suggests these are along the I-4 corridor, I'm guessing the salted Earth look is probably due to exposed limestone indigenous to that part of Florida. Once you remove any native vegetation, there's very little topsoil. The lots would have been prepped like a golf course with tons of imported dirt, then sodded. I expect that green yard has had a lot of TLC over the years.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:53 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]

*vulture sound*
posted by sixswitch at 6:11 PM on September 9

The soil is mostly sand and without intensive watering, fertilizer, and insecticides the ornamental grasses don't grow.

Source: Lived there for a long, long time.
posted by pdoege at 6:16 PM on September 9 [6 favorites]

There is So. Much. Unused. Housing. Stock. out there. I just got back from California, where the homeless crisis continues inexorably. And refugees are in detention.

Why. Why can't we do better by each other.
posted by gusandrews at 6:35 PM on September 9 [8 favorites]

I hate these photos so much because of what they mean for the Florida of my childhood. If they were at least being used, I could be along with gusandrews that hey - people have houses!

My mom lives in a semi-abandoned tiny subdivision, but it doesn't stop the HOA from being a pain.

My one hope is that for these bigger ones they meant some tin pot developer got hurt, but of course they didn't
posted by drewbage1847 at 7:33 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]

The pictures of Louisiana were fine, and it actually is erosion that he is capturing, but realize that most of the wetlands were destroyed by oil and gas drilling, roughly 400 square miles of interior wetlands at a minimum, according to USGS.

And when to you consider that the erosive forces of the gulf are strengthened by an enlarged tidal prism--sea level rise on the gulf side, and big open water on the inside where the oilfields used to be, the erosion doesn't seem very natural, either.
posted by eustatic at 10:45 PM on September 9

Being that one house surrounded by wasteland is somehow very appealing to me.

I spent several important formative years of my growing up in a failed suburban development. One street had been built, about a half mile long, before a downturn left the rest undone. Five houses were built on the street—ours, the one next door, and way down at the other end, three houses in a row that backed directly on a silty, weedy Michigan inland lake.

My dad started building it when I was in fourth grade, and we moved in at the end of that year. So I had a year of the adventure of the house being, alongside the stress of my dad being gone every evening after work and on weekends working on it—though also the fun of days when all my parents' friends would come to help, and we kids would climb on the big dirt piles left from digging the basement, and my mom would serve cold cuts and beer at lunch time.

For a few years that felt like they lasted forever, everything around our end of the street was still woods, many of them with excellent paths worn into them. At the other end, the houses were surrounded by uncultivated fields. Behind us were fields of corn and winter wheat, and down the road, a working dairy farm a friend and I often visited, hanging out in the barns and, in season, helping to feed the calves. We had to walk to the bigger street to pick up mail and catch the school bus.

By the time more houses started coming in and the street filled, I was less interested in roaming the woods and fields, and was happy to have neighbor children in need of babysitting, though I still took long walks, heading to the dead-end of our road and then just keeping on.

Although it was probably a total of three or four years at most, these few years when I was at an active and independent age (10-13 or so) but not yet into adolescence gave me something of a false impression of growing up "in the country" (though the small town five miles or so away was nothing much). It was a good experience for me, though it must have given my parents and other homeowners some concern about property values.
posted by Orlop at 10:45 PM on September 9 [11 favorites]

Orlop your experience so closely mimics mine! I spent the ages of 5-12 on the end of a cul-de-sac that eventually got extended and connected. The abandoned famrhouse became another batch of subdivision, the tadpole pond became the McDonald's parking lot, the acres of disused / abandoned farmland became condominiums.

That song "Ohio" from the Pretenders really resonates with me.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:48 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]

I find pictures like this very sad. Such a massive loss of habitat - good land scraped bare and thrown away and for what? For what?

Some rich asshole probably got slightly richer, so it wasn't for nothing.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:05 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]

That song "Ohio" from the Pretenders really resonates with me.

I can't have an objective opinion about that song because of how it's forever associated in my brain with Rush Limbaugh using it as interstitial music.
posted by jcreigh at 9:19 AM on September 10

His insect photography is pretty nifty and ties in to the theme of suburban sprawl and its impact:

Living Room Ceiling, Later Rescued from a Cat, August 25th

Yet, these little (and sometimes not so little) invaders are natural product of our own occupation of their habitat. As we keep expanding our subdivisions to the outskirts of towns, we inhabit recently altered environments.


The “portraits” are composites of a number of exposures with Scanning Electron Microscope and Stereoscopic Microscope. I carefully arrange the LED lighting, small reflectors, and diffusers, in order to achieve a “portrait”-like effect inspired by the tradition of 17th Century Dutch masters.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:21 AM on September 10

« Older Wildflowers instead of pesticides   |   Language is a weapon in an underground resistance... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments