When Trent Parke moved to Sydney from a small Australian country town, his first impression was of the sheer volume of people. He would grab his camera and go out exploring at every opportunity, fascinated by the endless processions.
At rush hour, he watched as the city workers moved in great mass, all walking the great conveyer belt of life. In a trance like state, treading the same path day after day, week after week, year after year… clocking on, clocking off, all under the spell of the city. Parke would stand on the edge of the wave, on the outside of a new world, looking in. As if watching a newly discovered species.
The more Parke photographed the rush hour, the more he became drawn to the light. He began crisscrossing and circling the city on a daily basis, chasing the sun as it moved from street corner to street corner. Trying to make sense of what everything meant and what seemed like an endless struggle.
“At night I would watch the eclipse of moths, millions of them constantly circling the lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At the same time, on my balcony, a miniature performance played out around the light above my head. The moths inevitably and without resistance were drawn to their ultimate demise. Spiraling out of control, like small space-ships caught in a tractor beam. Lured and blinded by the bright white light, they were taken out by hundreds of birds swooping in to snatch them from the air… spiders sat waiting on their webs. Built with precise coordinates across the face of the lights, they captured the hapless tiny creatures that’s slipped through. If any miraculously managed to survive that onslaught, they continued on, driven towards the flame, intoxicated by those burning hot light globes. Then suddenly an electrical charge in the still air. A small puff of smoke. Gone. Instant disintegration of a life form. Another blip in the universe. Another small space craft colliding with the blazing sun.” – Trent Parke