Photography and Pop-ups
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Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear

Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear

As Philadelphia is a “City of Firsts” for its historic sites and centuries-old buildings, it has become known as one of America’s most haunted cities. I originally created these books shortly after graduating  and felt lost with artist’s block. I began a 7 month artist residency at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center around Halloween and had just read “ Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” as a resource.

Each 36x53" pop-up is printed with Archival Pigment Inks, mounted onto card stock and is bound in Philly newspapers and Joss paper- also known as ghost money, which are sheets of paper that are burned in traditional Chinese deity or ancestor worship ceremonies and in Chinese funerals. Special thanks to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation for giving me the support and facilities to create this body of work.

Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear

Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear

Fort Mifflin, known as the “Fort that saved America”, dates back to the 1770’s. Casemate 5 was used as prison cells for confederate POWs, Union deserters and other lawbreakers during the Civil War.  Convicted of murder, Billy Howe, aka the faceless man, was imprisoned in the casemate and hanged in the courtyard.

My choice to merge an image of the casemate with the real image of a brain illustrates how the amygdala mediates fear through a visual stimulus quickly and unconsciously sending our stress hormones into the fight or flight response.

The hippocampus (seahorse shaped structure in our brain) receives impulses from the amygdala and integrates them with previously existing information. But intense stressful accounts may bypass the hippocampus and lead to uncontrollable physical symptoms. These unconscious fear-related memories imprinted on the brain can lead to deep-rooted anxiety, phobias, panic attacks or obsessive-compulsive disorders.

 Updated version with lights video here

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Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row

The Schuylkill Navy, founded in 1858, is the oldest amateur athletic governing body in the United States and comprises the ten clubs of Boathouse Row. Pirates are said to have buried treasure along it's banks, and Native Americans told of supernatural beings and strange lights that frequented the river.

Male statues representing "diversity and achievement of a mature nation... the Laborer, the Poet, the Preacher and the Scientist" lie in the foreground as images of restrained female mannequins at the Gore Psychiatric Museum are blended within the background clouds.

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Rodin Museum, the Lovers

Rodin Museum, the Lovers

Love of art and sculpture brought together the beautiful young daughter of a prominent Rittenhouse doctor and a boy from the opposite sides of the track. They met at the the Rodin Museum gardens.  In opposition, the girl’s father sent her away for two years, and upon returning she was struck by a car and was instantly killed in front of the gardens.

Statues from Rodin’s Gates of Hell and his lover Camille Claudel are spread throughout. Camille destroyed many of her statues, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where her admittance form read that she suffered "from a systematic persecution delirium mostly based upon false interpretations and imagination". She accused Rodin of stealing her ideas and of leading a conspiracy to kill her.

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City Hall, Suffocation

City Hall, Suffocation

At 548 ft,  City Hall  is the world's tallest masonry building. The ground that City Hall now stands was used as a public gallows. In 1783, a Native American was found guilty of murdering a Quaker family. He maintained his innocence until approaching the gallows, and his lasts words were that he would come back and avenge himself aganst the injustice.

Soon after his death, the arresting police officer and the prosecution attorney both died by a form of suffocation - one by drowning, and the other was run over by a carriage which severed his windpipe.

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Academy of Music, an Imaginary Audience

Academy of Music, an Imaginary Audience

Opened in 1857, Philadelphia's Academy of Music is the oldest grand opera house in the United States still used for its original purpose. Theater goers have reported being pinched, having their hair pullled, and seeing a "man in black" lurking in the last row of seats.

The imaginary audience is a mental construct of adolescent egocentrism, the belief that others are always watching, evaluating, and scrutinizing. This could lead to heightened self-consciousness and in extreme cases, paranoia.

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Moshulu, Fearless

Moshulu, Fearless

The Moshulu was built in 1904,  and is the largest four-masted sailing ship in the world still afloat. During the first world war, she was captured by American forces and renamed "Moshulu" which in Senecan Indian translates as "fearless". Many have lost their lives aboard her, and in 1989, a fire gutted the interior. Now a restaurant, workers have reported hearing noises and seeing candle lanterns light up on their own by the "Lantern Ghost".

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Byberry State Mental Hospital

Byberry State Mental Hospital

Byberry State Hospital was a federally funded health facility opened in 1912 and closed down in 1990 due to unlivable conditions and mistreatment of patients. There have been reports of screams bellowing from the basements.

Three Blind Mice.
Sing a song of sixpence.
Ring around the Rosie.
Lizzie borden took an ax
and gave her mother 40 wacks
when the job was surely done 
she gave her father 41.

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First National Bank

First National Bank

The first bank of the United States was established in 1791 under the guidance of treasurer Alexander Hamilton to create a standard currency. A confrontation led him dueling with Vice President Aaron Burr where he was badly wounded and died the next day. In the days and years to follow, the ghost of Alexander Hamilton was seen in the bank.

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Eastern State Penitentiary, Cellblock 12

Eastern State Penitentiary, Cellblock 12

Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 as part of a controversial movement to change the behavior of inmates through a strict Quaker-inspired system of Solitary confinement. Each cell was dominated by “the Eye of God”- light streaming through narrow windows on the ceiling. The Penitentiary's wagon-wheel floor plan includes seven cellblocks that radiate from a central surveillance rotunda.

Cell Block 12 is known as the most haunted and violent cellblock in the facility. Psychics receive strong visions of brutal sexual abuse; they believe this cell is possessed by the ghost of a man raped by dozens of stronger inmates.

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Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park was used as a mass burial ground between 1706 to 1825.  The original Memorial to the Unknown Soldier in the park represents the thousands of Revolutionary War soldiers buried there. The numbers increased as Yellow fever killed 10% of the city’s population. A young woman with a lantern used to watch that medical students from the University of Pennsylvania wouldn't dig up and steal the bodies of the soldiers buried there. 

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statement.jpeg

Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear

As Philadelphia is a “City of Firsts” for its historic sites and centuries-old buildings, it has become known as one of America’s most haunted cities. I originally created these books shortly after graduating  and felt lost with artist’s block. I began a 7 month artist residency at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center around Halloween and had just read “ Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking” as a resource.

Each 36x53" pop-up is printed with Archival Pigment Inks, mounted onto card stock and is bound in Philly newspapers and Joss paper- also known as ghost money, which are sheets of paper that are burned in traditional Chinese deity or ancestor worship ceremonies and in Chinese funerals. Special thanks to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation for giving me the support and facilities to create this body of work.

Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear

Fort Mifflin, known as the “Fort that saved America”, dates back to the 1770’s. Casemate 5 was used as prison cells for confederate POWs, Union deserters and other lawbreakers during the Civil War.  Convicted of murder, Billy Howe, aka the faceless man, was imprisoned in the casemate and hanged in the courtyard.

My choice to merge an image of the casemate with the real image of a brain illustrates how the amygdala mediates fear through a visual stimulus quickly and unconsciously sending our stress hormones into the fight or flight response.

The hippocampus (seahorse shaped structure in our brain) receives impulses from the amygdala and integrates them with previously existing information. But intense stressful accounts may bypass the hippocampus and lead to uncontrollable physical symptoms. These unconscious fear-related memories imprinted on the brain can lead to deep-rooted anxiety, phobias, panic attacks or obsessive-compulsive disorders.

 Updated version with lights video here

Boathouse Row

The Schuylkill Navy, founded in 1858, is the oldest amateur athletic governing body in the United States and comprises the ten clubs of Boathouse Row. Pirates are said to have buried treasure along it's banks, and Native Americans told of supernatural beings and strange lights that frequented the river.

Male statues representing "diversity and achievement of a mature nation... the Laborer, the Poet, the Preacher and the Scientist" lie in the foreground as images of restrained female mannequins at the Gore Psychiatric Museum are blended within the background clouds.

Rodin Museum, the Lovers

Love of art and sculpture brought together the beautiful young daughter of a prominent Rittenhouse doctor and a boy from the opposite sides of the track. They met at the the Rodin Museum gardens.  In opposition, the girl’s father sent her away for two years, and upon returning she was struck by a car and was instantly killed in front of the gardens.

Statues from Rodin’s Gates of Hell and his lover Camille Claudel are spread throughout. Camille destroyed many of her statues, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where her admittance form read that she suffered "from a systematic persecution delirium mostly based upon false interpretations and imagination". She accused Rodin of stealing her ideas and of leading a conspiracy to kill her.

City Hall, Suffocation

At 548 ft,  City Hall  is the world's tallest masonry building. The ground that City Hall now stands was used as a public gallows. In 1783, a Native American was found guilty of murdering a Quaker family. He maintained his innocence until approaching the gallows, and his lasts words were that he would come back and avenge himself aganst the injustice.

Soon after his death, the arresting police officer and the prosecution attorney both died by a form of suffocation - one by drowning, and the other was run over by a carriage which severed his windpipe.

Academy of Music, an Imaginary Audience

Opened in 1857, Philadelphia's Academy of Music is the oldest grand opera house in the United States still used for its original purpose. Theater goers have reported being pinched, having their hair pullled, and seeing a "man in black" lurking in the last row of seats.

The imaginary audience is a mental construct of adolescent egocentrism, the belief that others are always watching, evaluating, and scrutinizing. This could lead to heightened self-consciousness and in extreme cases, paranoia.

Moshulu, Fearless

The Moshulu was built in 1904,  and is the largest four-masted sailing ship in the world still afloat. During the first world war, she was captured by American forces and renamed "Moshulu" which in Senecan Indian translates as "fearless". Many have lost their lives aboard her, and in 1989, a fire gutted the interior. Now a restaurant, workers have reported hearing noises and seeing candle lanterns light up on their own by the "Lantern Ghost".

Byberry State Mental Hospital

Byberry State Hospital was a federally funded health facility opened in 1912 and closed down in 1990 due to unlivable conditions and mistreatment of patients. There have been reports of screams bellowing from the basements.

Three Blind Mice.
Sing a song of sixpence.
Ring around the Rosie.
Lizzie borden took an ax
and gave her mother 40 wacks
when the job was surely done 
she gave her father 41.

First National Bank

The first bank of the United States was established in 1791 under the guidance of treasurer Alexander Hamilton to create a standard currency. A confrontation led him dueling with Vice President Aaron Burr where he was badly wounded and died the next day. In the days and years to follow, the ghost of Alexander Hamilton was seen in the bank.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Cellblock 12

Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 as part of a controversial movement to change the behavior of inmates through a strict Quaker-inspired system of Solitary confinement. Each cell was dominated by “the Eye of God”- light streaming through narrow windows on the ceiling. The Penitentiary's wagon-wheel floor plan includes seven cellblocks that radiate from a central surveillance rotunda.

Cell Block 12 is known as the most haunted and violent cellblock in the facility. Psychics receive strong visions of brutal sexual abuse; they believe this cell is possessed by the ghost of a man raped by dozens of stronger inmates.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park was used as a mass burial ground between 1706 to 1825.  The original Memorial to the Unknown Soldier in the park represents the thousands of Revolutionary War soldiers buried there. The numbers increased as Yellow fever killed 10% of the city’s population. A young woman with a lantern used to watch that medical students from the University of Pennsylvania wouldn't dig up and steal the bodies of the soldiers buried there. 

Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear
Fort Mifflin Casemate #5, Circuit of Fear
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4.jpg
5.boathouserow.jpg
Boathouse Row
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9.rodinmuseum.jpg
Rodin Museum, the Lovers
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12.jpg
13.cityhall.jpg
City Hall, Suffocation
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16.jpg
17.academyofmusic.jpg
Academy of Music, an Imaginary Audience
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21.moshulu.jpg
Moshulu, Fearless
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24.byberry.jpg
Byberry State Mental Hospital
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27.firstbank.jpg
First National Bank
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30esp.jpg
Eastern State Penitentiary, Cellblock 12
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34.washingtonsquare.jpg
Washington Square Park
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statement.jpeg