These were shot on and around the Houston Ship Channel from 2015 to 2018. A written statement of these works is located below the images.


Statement for Houston Ship Channel:

The Houston Ship Channel is a quintessential Texas locale:  it is the largest importer and exporter of petroleum and petrochemical products, steel, and raw plastics, which brings in roughly $250 billion annually to the state.

The Houston Ship Channel itself is 52 miles long, stretching from Houston to the Galveston Bay, leading to the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans beyond.  The primary industrial sites are located on a 20 mile stretch down Buffalo Bayou, located immediately east of downtown Houston to La Porte.  It is a strictly monitored site, policed by the US Coast Guard on water and multiple security agencies on land.  There are several “fenceline” communities along the Ship Channel, most notably the Manchester Community that is literally just outside the fence of the Valero Refinery.  There are several EPA Superfund sites located along the Ship Channel, some of the most environmentally toxic sites in the United States.

The scale (size) of the work performed along the Houston Ship Channel is hard to grasp in relation to human terms.  It is an unnatural representative of the Immanuel Kant’s theory of the Sublime: it is terrifically big, terrifically dangerous, yet can be quite beautiful.  The vehicles used in transport are enormous; the potential for an environmental disaster of biblical proportions exists as a daily reality six miles from the center of the fourth largest city in America.  Most Houstonians are blissfully unaware of this reality, and tend to think of the Ship Channel (when they think of it at all) as the place where all the oil comes from, or the source of whatever smell is wafting over their neighborhood.  On the whole, we Houstonians are remarkably disconnected from this site.

This series was shot, in large part, from a fixed perspective on the Ship Channel itself, using selective focus to highlight varying subjects. I chose to focus on place and create a portrait of the site itself.  As in all of my works, I have kept these images as politically neutral as possible, for I wish for the viewers of this series to bring their background and experiences to arrive at their own interpretation of these works.

Map of the Houston Ship Channel (the 52-mile route is in green)