Once Removed

Once Removed

A photo essay. To view all 15 images, check out the email version.

Seeing things in terms of their usefulness is a useful way of seeing things—especially the things we use all the time.

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That’s why we understand our built environment primarily in material and functional terms. We see metal, brick and concrete structures and know they bear weight and provide shelter. We see sheets of glass spliced in and know they lighten the spaces and moods within. We see a building’s base, roof and walls and know its outer limits.

By removing our ability to see all those limits, however, we can transpose our built environment from its practical, real-world context into a purely aesthetic space—a space where, if your imagination is up to it, the city’s surfaces can extend infinitely beyond their earthly and photographic bounds.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. The image above features One Century Tower at 265 Church Street. This updated story was originally published on July 10, 2019.

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