The Urban Coroner
in, relating to, or characteristic of a city or town.
an official who investigates violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths.
A coroner is a person whose role is to confirm the cause of death of an individual or order an investigation into the manner or cause of death. In medieval England, where the role originated, the coroners were officials of the Crown (the root of the word itself) who also held financial powers and would conduct judicial investigations in order to counterbalance the power of the sheriffs.
Similarly, I too defy the sheriffs as I investigate the manner in which these buildings met their demise. I climb through the guts of abandoned buildings and research why and how they became the rotting remains we see today.
Not to sound like an urbex hipster, but I started urban exploring before I even knew what urban exploring was.
In the mid-2000's, my friends and I would fling ourselves over fences in the dark to hang out in the abandoned mansion in Davie that we simply referred to as "The Mansion." Art and photography were an afterthought - if that - to just wanting to be a bunch of hoodlums and hang out in an abandoned, haunted, creepy mansion. The art came afterward. The Mansion fascinated me after we explored it for the first time and sketches of it can be found in my sketchbooks from as far back as high school.
In 2010, I found my love for urban exploring in an abandoned mental hospital that became like a second home to my friends and I. Armed with nothing but a tiny Nikon Coolpix and our cellphones, we would roam the halls of the abandoned hospital and spend hours discovering all of its secrets. To this day, it is still one of our favorite places and we are still learning about its twisted history.
After the asylum, it was like a snowballing effect where my friends and I began trying to put ourselves in more and more abandoned places. Somewhere along the way, the quality of the pictures I took began to matter as I wanted to try my best to capture the energy of these lost buildings and the stories they had to tell us.
The imprint of those that came before us is left upon these places where they spent their lives and sometimes even met their deaths. I want to learn these stories and along the way have some unique experiences of my own. I want to see the things that most people never get to see or do. I want to capture as much of these stories as I can through the lens of my camera, partially so I can share them with others, but mostly so I can look back and reflect on them myself.
All of my pictures have stories, but not all of my stories have pictures.