Like clocks, watches and hourglasses, I look at and dread abandoned places as time measuring devices. They measure first the duration of a civilization and its impermanence. These places shine with the absence of life and soul, their only traces are erosion and graffiti, symptoms of dispossession of places where we can no longer live, that is to say we are no longer in control. They measure the length of human life and its transience as well. They represent vanities that take us back to the reality of our human condition and allow us to confront our “passing”, symptoms of the fear of body dispossession in which we live, and the necessary detachment from desire.

Urban explorers, the great witnesses of time acceleration, are the privileged spectators of the decline or dereliction of their own civilization, and thus differ from tourists who visit ruins of a distant, reassuring past. Exploring these places is enough to realize that it takes a generation to generate its own ruins. Ours contains the seeds of its planned obsolescence… referring to this peculiar form of generalized Alzheimer where personal memory is replaced by a “Cloud”, a virtual space held by private companies.

Memento mori in actions, the “urbex” experience is, like in the 19th century, a medium for artistic meditation. The romanticists painters were wandering in the ruins of Italian abbeys. Photography has now replaced painting. It took over the art of capturing the moment, as a medium revealing and grasping the fleeting moment.