I took the photographs that would become Mechanical Bloodlines (formerly Nick Plus Dad Equals) over Columbus-Day Weekend in 2004. Nick was four at the time. This was the same weekend I took the Family Portraits. I had borrowed a Holga from a co-worker at Laptop Magazine.
While I've had the Family Portraits printed since 2004, I only recently went back to the negative box and scanned these images of Nick amongst our father's machinery, after I realized that even back then I was beginning to explore concepts of family structure and bonds.
The idea at the time was to find connections, and a big one was my father's plethora of vehicles and machinery, which he uses to maintain the campground that my family owns and operates outside Cooperstown, NY. I'm not sure if I was consciously using Nick as a surrogate for myself or not. You might notice that my father isn't in any of the images, even the one taken inside the house with the rest of the family. He was usually out and about doing this or that around the campground or running errands to town. To this day he refuses to get a cell phone because it just means people will constantly be calling him to do stuff.
I've included a few outtakes from the shoot. While I really like the images, three pics of the firetruck is redundant.
I may end up including this one in the series. There's something about the double exposure and the expressions on Nick's faces, from exuberance to crankiness. Nick had a cold at the time so he was constantly carrying around a handkerchief with a rocking horse on it. He had rubbed his nose so much that it was becoming red and inflamed.
It's interesting that at the beginning of my quest for an artistic voice, I sought out my family, and it took another six years to come back to them. Sometimes we need to explore the world before we realize there's no place like home.