Carter, husband, Army

digital photography, 24 inches by 30 inches


Minneapolis, MN

In this series, I was interested in making photographs that illuminated the experience of families with a soldier serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. These families stand as (sometimes reluctant) witnesses for the psychological experience of what has been endured and often lost when a person goes to war.

More recently I have turned my attention to soldiers who have returned from war. Often finding themselves at a personal crossroads — their internal compass confounded by the search for normality after experiencing the surrealism of war. In making videos of soldiers swimming, treading water and diving in natural bodies of water I aim to address this duality. Water is used as a stand in for displacement or ‘the distance of an oscillating body from its central position or point of equilibrium at any given moment’. The videos are accompanied by formal black and white portraits that hint at camouflage; the act, means, or result of obscuring things.

Concurrently I have been using videos, books, photographs (both made and mined from social networks) and installation pieces to examine the landscape of Internet dating. Although the considerations and the image making have been highly disparate, there are overriding themes such as vulnerability, loneliness, the search for home and the impact of contemporary society on one’s personal interior landscape.

I am engaging in a crossover investigation of the multi-faceted intersections of modern life. When one loved one is off in foreign lands, another is home going about their day-to-day life. In my case, my brother flies Apache helicopters in war zones, while I go on first dates with strangers.

By examining idiosyncratic communities such as Internet dating and military life, I consider the nature of mating, danger, safety, loss, longing and psychological need. Internet dating is a world with its own language and etiquette, as is the military.