Adam Putnam

Photographer
 
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Location: Troy, New York
Nationality: American
Biography: Raised in the Adirondack's of upstate New York. Hallmark Institute of Photography graduate, and ten years commercial photography work in New York City. Photographing and documenting the North American social landscape for over a decade. My... read on
Public Project
Doom List
Credits: adam putnam
Updated: 01/10/14

This collection of images is a look into the environment, of the times immediately following the 2008 New York housing crises…I was working for a real estate company, and was assigned lists of property’s to photograph, for them to assess… Over the course of four months, I photographed hundreds of properties spread from Jamaica, Queens to Patterson, New Jersey. All the while never being told what I was really “doing” or who, or what specifically these images were for. Oddly, I never meet the men I was working for either. I spoke with one of them over the phone, and that same man signed my paychecks. But I never once met them. Then one day in late December I was notified that my services were no longer needed.

 Over time the list of homes and property’s became somewhat of a map, or a guide to sites of turmoil. While family foundations were crumbling at our feet, the airwaves were promising change. I became witness to some extraordinary behavior while on my route. People paid me off, people begged and pleaded, they threatened… Its funny sometimes, someone would look at you, and even though I didn’t know what I was there for, they seemed to know exactly why I was there. Those were the early Obama days. Any media coverage on the housing collapse in New York focused directly on the money, the bankers, and the mortgage lenders. Not how the tenants, homeowners, or people were doing.

 What I hope to show first and foremost is how it felt in the community’s that were actually affected by the collapse, the energy that was in the air, the vibe. I looked for the overall state of the being, wondered about how vulnerable we are on a day-to-day basis, balancing everything we claim as ours, managing our mistakes and others. I wonder about the value of property; verse the value of a home? I wonder how the powers that be, value a “life”, or what they will write in the history books about this situation. This is an attempt to comprehend the disarray and unease, of a community experiencing doom, and at the same time being promised hope. 

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