Timothy Jude Smith
Wherever There is a Soul to Admire
2011-2013

In the decade following his two-year experiment living at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau began to realize that objects and environments in the phenomenal world could themselves become poetry. To Thoreau, poetry was no longer a human construction, but a form originating from existence itself. Thus he considered existence in the world, no matter how significant or minor, to be fundamentally ‘aesthetic’.

Wherever There is a Soul to Admire presents scenes from everyday places – the yards, interiors, and peripheries of four suburban housing subdivisions in Ohio. Each of these communities have been named after Walden Pond: Walden Village in Dayton, Walden of Aurora, Walden Homes in Fairfield, and The Reserve at Walden Pond in Hinckley.

Following Thoreau’s experimental approach to sensory experience, this photo and video installation creates a dialogue between juxtaposing images, presenting multiple perspectives of scenes from the Walden sites in Ohio. In addition to underscoring an awareness of the aesthetics of ordinary suburban surroundings, the work calls attention to the limits of both human vision and digital video. From the hyper-reality of HD to instances of digital decay, the range of visual stimuli reflects ephemeral and imperceptible ‘accidents of the everyday world’.

Timothy Jude Smith