Pedagogy of the Plants

Archive for the ‘Urbex’ Category

Parking Deck Shadows

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The first visit to this parking deck a decade ago ended with a security guard’s escort.


Wielding a longboard, the plan was to carve all the way down to street level from the rooftop, but the guard caught me on one or more cameras climbing the stairs. After taking in the sunset, I turned around to find a beige, four-door Buick circa 1980 rounding the corner to the roof. He rolled down the window.

“You can’t be here. Sometimes people jump.”

“Can I ride down? You can follow.”


The man pulled a u-turn, then inched up behind. Rather than stand and carve leisurely, I opted to sit and shoot the curves as fast as possible. I pushed twice, sat down, then pulled my feet up. Gripping the sides of the board, I raced counter clockwise down around six floors. The creaky escort rumbled along, tracing my route. We made eye contact at the bottom as I crossed the sidewalk onto College Ave. He gave me a smile and a nod.

Written by Cameron Brooks

February 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

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City Hall

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Rooftop Oddments

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Written by Cameron Brooks

February 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Nat Arnold Building

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Black Rock Mountain Pkwy Shack

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Black Rock Mountain Pkwy Shack


Black Rock Mountain Pkwy Shack

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Ducktown School

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Ducktown School Sign

Built in 1932, Ducktown School’s original name was Kimsey Junior College, after Dr. L.E. Kimsey (who allegedly visited patients on horseback). The gothic style structure sat vacant for a few years, then became a local high school for Polk County. Enraged citizens believed construction funds should have been spent on upkeep and expansion of existing schools. Many graduates took vocational classes, then worked in nearby copper mines. Around 1970, until 2007, the historic building served as an elementary school.

The site is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and more information is here.

Ducktown School

Ducktown School Auditorium

Grass Through Asphalt

Overgrown Jungle Gym

Desk Through Broken Window

Rows of Desks

Ducktown School Auditorium Stage

Ducktown School Kudzu

Rusted Overgrown Merry-Go-Round

Written by Cameron Brooks

July 11, 2013 at 8:00 am

White Dam and Eastern Bloc Blues

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Remnants of incapacitated industry bring to mind contemporary interpretations of Eastern Bloc sounds.  This first sample, produced by the Polish nu jazz duo Skalpel, offers hip hop beats occupied by Polish jazz samples scrubbed from the archives.


Igor Boxx, 1/2 of Skalpel, recently went solo with the debut album Breslau.  Compared to the lush, polished sound of Skalpel, his tracks have a colder resonance.

“Russian Percussian”

“Fear of a Red Planet”

Aaron Funk is a Canadian electronic artist known as Venetian Snares.  During a 2005 trip to Hungary, he produced the album Rossz Csillag Alatt Született.

The concept of the album came when Aaron Funk imagined himself as a pigeon on Budapest’s Királyi Palota (Royal Palace).  Its third track, “Öngyilkos vasárnap” is a cover of the song “Szomorú vasárnap” (“Gloomy Sunday”) by Hungarian composer Rezső Seress, which has been referred to as the Hungarian suicide song. According to urban legend, Seress’s song has inspired the suicide of multiple persons, including his fiancée. The song was reportedly banned in Hungary. It has also been covered by many artists. Billie Holiday’s vocals are sampled in this track.


“Öngyilkos Vasárnap”