Seth Harwood |Spearfish SD, United States

Short bio:
I come from the rural state of South Dakota. The automotive landscape of the Midwest was a constant, and defining presence. Growing up the son of a repo man, I would spend the days of my youth playing in the rusted out frames of what used to be cars. That experience of having such an intimate relationship with these old, rundown machines gave me a very strong nostalgic appreciation for things that feel anachronistic, and I think that shows through in my passion for photography, being a keen advocate for the film process. Currently, I am working towards my MFA in Photography through the Academy of Art University, with my thesis work revolving around refining this relationship of old world kinesthetic practices of film and modern technology.

Why do you photograph on film?
Growing up in the American Midwest I find that I have a strong appreciation for kinesthetic practices, and I think that definitely reflects in my practice of photography. I find solace in the analog methods of film and enjoy the process as much as the final result. I almost exclusively work in the medium format, finding the utmost pleasure its quality, as well as its versatility. Film, and the process that yields its images, offers me a sense of permanence that I don’t find when working with pixels. The light that burned that image onto the film, that’s the same light that touched the scene I was capturing; I feel like I am actually preserving that moment in time on this very thin layer of emulsion, and I think that’s a bit of a beautiful concept in itself.

What is your work about?
My photography is derivative of the landscape I grew up in, a landscape that is heavily saturated with old run down automobiles, dive motels lined with neon, and rural solitude. Through my photography I try to capture and convey that sense of peaceful solitude, nostalgia, and comfortable decay that I find in the vehicular landscape.