My name is Doug Burgess. I have been attempting to make interesting images since the 1980’s. Many topics peak my interest but I keep returning to subjects that I call “transparently close.” There is a visual parallel to this idea that is used in the movies. The movie camera is focused on a distance scene. The camera man slowly moves the focus closer to the observer. As the distance scene begins to blur a fuzzy pattern appears. As the focus progresses closer and closer we become aware that the fuzzy pattern is a chain link fence between us and the original scene. The fence has always been there, we just couldn’t see it because the focus was beyond it. It was transparently close.
Time and again I am drawn back to weeds, invasive plants, vacant lots, and what are called “waste places”. Why are these plants weeds, where do they come from? We have been trying to eradicate them for hundreds of years, in some cases thousands. We stomp, pull, burn, cut, poison, cover over, plow under, spray, and create destructive biological agents, yet they keep coming. There is a lesson in here somewhere.
Besides the weeds, I am fascinated with other subjects that are close at hand, and often not seen; balloons before and after the party with wonderful material properties, the animals we kill on the roads by the gazillions, oak apples (galls) made in response irritating insects , and even those ubiquitous chain link fences.