Star Rush

starrush.net | star.rush360@gmail.com

I am a documentary and street photographer, as well an advocate of mobile photography. I record and make images exclusively with an iPhone 3Gs.

A Vietnamese American born in Saigon in the early 1970s but enculturated to American culture and language from an early age to collapse into them, I explore a sense of liminality in my writing and photography. To know other as self becomes complex when the sense of self is perpetually in flux and other is self. I grew up in a working class home, in south King County, within a mixed race, bicultural family, with parents who intentionally removed anything but English in our home as a means to protect against linguistic bias. I am deeply American but a kind of foreverotherized American, unable (or unwilling) to fully reconcile an “other” curious about what that character or that identity may mean.

My work explores the tug between past and present, the visual hiss and hums that evoke in visuals the listening experience of vinyl records. How do images mediate memories of a collective past, shape or dissect the cultural mythologies of an American Dream in recession? My images explore the mythos of mobility, independence, consumption, fluctuating identity, and the ethos of “cool” in the landscape of the mundane and ordinary. These are the central ideas of my work, evoked in images of made-in-Detroit cars parked on contemporary streets, buildings and houses, mechanical objects, individuals in public spaces (often alone), and, frequently, empty seats. I am curious about neither the reflection or the object reflected; I study the mirror.

I prefer to work in the “unrealness” of black and white whenever possible: “This is not life. It’s a photo of it, a recollection.” My work describes place, people and objects as visually mediated artifacts of mundane, unstable remembrance, imbued with the remnants of popular culture of the 20th century as much as “real life” itself. My mobile photography pursues the idea of pulling the past forward into lyrical, narrative images that transgress boundaries of “old” and “new,” using a mundane, utilitarian, everyday “eye” of a cell phone camera.

My subjects are captured in natural light and public spaces with this unassuming, mobile phone. The iphone enables capturing unguarded moments; it also imposes restraints that push me into scenes, into new spaces, similar to creating visual haikus.

Documenting objects, places, or people doesn’t necessarily preserve them; it is preserving an observation. In the images, the photographer is preserving herself. – Star Rush

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