Vicariously, through another person's eyes, men and women can see the world anew… There is given to them again a sense of wonder. This should be a photographer's aim, for this is the purpose that pictures fulfill in the world as it is to-day… We are most of us too busy, too worried, too intent on proving ourselves right, too obsessed with ideas, to stand and stare.

—Photographer Bill Brandt (1948)

According to Wikipedia, a random walk is defined as “a mathematical formalization of a path that consists of a succession of random steps.” The term is used frequently within the domains of computer science, physics, and economics to describe the behavior of various systems in the world.

As a photographer/artist/designer, I am interested in the relationship between structure and chance, and the concept of a random walk seems to fit neatly at this intersection. I also enjoy checking things off lists, so I've made it a goal to complete a photographic random walk at every subway station in New York City. Each walk will assume the following structure:

  1. Go to a subway station chosen at random by a computer program containing a list of all the stations in New York.
  2. Stand outside the station and take a photo once every ten seconds for five minutes.
  3. Walk a certain number of blocks in a a certain direction (determined by the same program), and repeat three times.
  4. Where ever I end up, take a photo once every ten seconds again for five minutes.

My ultimate aim with this project is to observe and document visual information – people, moments, interactions, encounters, perspectives – that might otherwise have gone unnoticed or ignored. I want to encourage people to pay more attention, to notice more of the infinite tiny details that, together, make life fascinating.

Completed Walks