Why?

 Main Concourse, Grand Central Station, New York City.

Main Concourse, Grand Central Station, New York City.

Welcome to the #timesight project. My name is Christopher Chavez. I am a husband, builder and communications professional. I am also an artist and photographer. Capturing humanity still'ing itself, stacking up over time by remaining motionless in space, gives me great joy. It also reminds me that our time in each other's presence is short. We make up a mere breath of existence. By acknowledging the beauty of this reality, I hope to inspire you to treat those around you with gentleness and care.

These photographs are my daily observance of thick and thin existence. It's what we would see if we could experience our world from the perspective of Time. As we move, we disappear from one place to another. You could say, we end up existing thinly in time, as a kind of residue, or conscious tracer. To embrace stillness in any place is to exist thickly in time. When we say, "I just need to slow down," are we articulating a basic physiological reality? When we disappear to place, do we disappear in time?

Think about how you feel after meditation, yoga, or during a moment in your day when you can sit, breath, reflect. Think about how you feel after a good night's sleep. When we minimize our movements, when we slow down, when we rest, we allow our existence in space to stack-up over time. Literally, being still adds more substance to our own being. We feel more whole, because we are more whole. By taking long-exposure photographs, we can see another facet of our existence, and statically record another dimension of our physiological reality. This project lets me practice my craft while attempting to capture examples of this feeling and reality on camera. 

Many photographers have influenced this project. My general interest in photography began as an obsession with night photography. The long exposures required to capture a nighttime scene opened my eyes to the beauty of our fourth dimensional world. A German group by the name of Lichtfacktor does wonderfully creative nighttime work that epitomizes how we can make this fourth dimension playfully visible. In late 2002, whilst studying in Brussels, Belgium, I happened upon a write up in the New York Times of the On Air Series by Atta Kim. His extreme long exposures, 4 to 12 hours in duration, transformed normally humanity packed places like Time Square into ghost towns. I fell in love with what I saw as an exploration into permanence and impermanence and marveled at the thinness of our light-based existence. Lastly, the pioneering artistic vision and extraordinary imaginative talent of Gjon Mili set the stage for everyone who has followed since.

I had caught the bug in 2002, but it wasn't until the Winter of 2015 that I began #timesight as a way to research how moments of serendipitous stillness would show up in high trafficked, high energy places around New York. More often than not, photographs of the #timesight series resemble Tron-like nighttime visuals, or Atta Kim inspired images of humanity's residual existence fading to smoke. Occasionally, magic happens. Over the course of an exposure, a person will remain in his or her place, caught staring at a phone like the man in the blue shirt who pops out from the hustle of Grand Central, or resting like the woman seated and still'd in front of the Temple of Dendur, or in the case of Mitch, the architect who visited the newly opened, shocking-white Transport Hub, experiencing a small moment of awe in a newly erected, temple-like structure. 

Since I began posting my images online, friends pointed me in the direction of Alexey Titarenko's photography. Alexey also explores what French philosophers would call the longue durée. His beautiful visual-archeology has represented a more established, asynchronous dialogue partner to my own. I have also become enamored with the eye of Martin Roemers whose metropolis series of long exposures reveal urban energies flowing through cities around the world.

Thank you for visiting. Let me know your thoughts or requests for photography by clicking the contact link here or above.