Rob Stephenson · Myths of the Near Future

Oct 08, 2019

Rob is an American photographer who works around documentary photography with an artistic approach. In his works we see an exploration of urban and semi-urban spaces, looking into present topics that concern us all. With minimal and careful compositions, his series "Myths of the near future" studies the post-space shuttle era in an iconic place for space flights, Cape Canaveral. These images are both, fantasy and reality, allowing us to dream and reflect about our past and future.

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

RS - Thanks for including me! I am a photographer living in Brooklyn New York. I grew up in Connecticut (after spending the first 5 years of my life in Geneva, Switzerland) and currently live in Brooklyn, New York where I run a small scanning studio and work on occasional architectural and editorial commissions. I recently published a book with Ain’t Bad called "Myths of the Near Future".

 

am - How did you start in photography?

RS - I dabbled in photography throughout high school and college but after graduating I spent a few years working for Joel Meyerowitz and that really lay the foundation for my photographic practice.

 

am - What is "Myths of the Near Future" about?

RS - All the images are shot in the towns surrounding Cape Canaveral in the years following the end of the Space Shuttle program. Taking inspiration from a collection of short stories by JG Ballard who wrote about the area in the 60’s and 70’s, the images document the landscape and relics of the space age.

am - What were you most interested in capturing with these images?

RS - Really I wanted the images to be evocative without being too specific. The pictures are rooted in a specific place and are centered around that place’s history but the project is equally informed by fiction. I wanted the images in the series to be a little ambiguous, allowing plenty of room for interpretation. If there is one theme that I can point to that runs through the project it is the idea of a nostalgia for the future.

 

am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

RS - Today’s short list: Bas Princen, Joel Sternfeld, Joel Meyerowitz, Walker Evans, Guido Guidi, Thomas Struth, Roy DeCarava, Barbara Bosworth, Agnes Martin, Lonnie Holley, Martin Puryear.

 

am - What’s your favourite movie?

RS - Too many to name. My favorite recently discovered movie is Roy Andersson's “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence”.

 

am - What is your favourite photo book?

RS -  Currently looking at Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel "Evidence", "ZZYZX" by Gregory Halpern, "Veramente" by Guido Guidi and Joel Sternfeld "American Prospects".

 

am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

RS - Thank you!

All images © Rob Stephenson

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