Time Lapse Video taken in Reno, NV
Podcast #1: Memories of Things Past
This podcast introduces us to Shane Kiefer’s hobby of urban exploration. It begins by asking the listener to ponder the existence of abandoned locations and on their slow decline into obscurity. Then, you are brought into the world of Shane’s adventures as he paints a vivid picture for the listener, taking them along on his journey through an abandoned building. Finally, Shane wraps up the podcast by discussing some of his personal views on urban exploration.
PODCAST #1 TRANSCRIPT:
[HAUNTING CLASSICAL PIANO MUSIC PLAYS SOFTLY IN THE BACKGROUND]
Shane Kiefer: Would you believe me if I told you that there are places all around us that time seems to have forgotten? Scattered across the countryside, sometimes even interspersed among new buildings, are memories of things past. These memories often take the form of a building, long abandoned and left to slowly deteriorate. Harsh winters still come and go, but living things no longer do. The growth of vegetation is an unstoppable force, and soon many external signs are gone that indicated the existence of human activity. Once the focal points of entire communities, these abandoned locations now begin to be forgotten. Old factories, hospitals, asylums, hotels, summer resorts, mansions, and amusement parks, along with many more vestiges of a past society are now left behind in the constant onward march toward continued progress and change.
However, if anyone were ever to stop from their busy lives for a moment and take a closer look, they might notice that on occasion, something moves inside. Is it a figment of the imagination, or a trick of the light? They move on, it must have been nothing. The landscape returns to deafening silence. A few moments later, there it is again. A passing shadow, a muted flash of light. Society has forgotten about these places, but I haven’t.
I walk carefully down decaying hallways, stopping every few yards to snap a photograph.
[THE SOUND OF A CAMERA SHUTTER GOES OFF]
It looks as if everyone just stopped what they were doing one day and left. Rooms are still furnished, paintings still adorn the halls. Chairs sit in corners, still waiting for someone to rest their weary feet. Machines still look almost as if they could be turned on again. A dusty piano sits by a window, receiving the softly beaming late afternoon sunshine streaming through the window panes. I stop thoughtfully for a moment. My mind begins painting a picture of what this place must have looked like when it was still open. I can almost hear the soothing notes of the piano playing over the sounds of forks clanging against fine china and happy voices discussing dinner.
[SOUNDS OF A BUSTLING RESTAURANT FILTER INTO THE BACKGROUND]
This must have been the dining room.
Although they are abandoned, these places still hold lingering memories and vitality. I cannot help myself. Sometimes I see rusted and falling down signs warning people away, but who could let so much history and so many stories and memories go overlooked? These signs are restraining, restricting, and ugly. Everything is about power and control and in this case, who can come and go. Sorry signs, I believe that I will come and go as well. To me, it is good that laws exist, otherwise there would be destruction and violence with no order. However, not everything is always black and white. I am not destructive, actually quite the opposite as I preserve the past glory days of these locations through my photographs. I tread lightly, take nothing, and touch little. So much history can be found in everywhere I go, and I gain much wisdom in my travels. Abandoned locations serve as a powerful reminder of the constant evolution of society, but we can learn many lessons from them as well. Exploring them is my hobby, and hopefully I can share some of their captured memories with everyone.
I am an urban explorer, and a photographer.