There is also a very quiet but very sturdy and constant tragic undercurrent that concerns a people who are completely lost, who are lost within their families and lost within their nation, and lost within their time, and who only want some sort of direction or purpose or a sense of community or love.
David Eggers, Infinite Jest
In 2012, I began dating a nuclear mechanic that was stationed in Groton, Connecticut on a submarine. When he and his housemates went out to sea, I looked after their home. Each time I visited, I would take photographs of the things they left behind; these became my At Sea Series.
The house had a feeling of constantly being in flux because the sailors were always coming and going from long duty shifts and even longer training missions in the Atlantic, some bags never got unpacked and many items were never put away. Their things would just get shuffled around, never finding where they belonged.
These young men spent their days maintaining a nuclear reactor and their nights fighting each other with NERF guns. In some ways, they lived in a state of suspended adolescence. In the house there was a sense of needing to escape from their daily stress. Alcohol, video games, and children's toys provided a release from their daily pressures. The objects left behind exemplified this escapism in the juxtaposition of childhood and adulthood.