The other week I stumbled upon Robert Mullins' article on The Politics and Archaeology of “Ruin Porn” (via the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology list) where he characterises 'ruin porn' as a trend within which an "enormous number of artists, urbanites, and even archaeologists have begun to focus their attention on the aesthetics and materiality of ruin". In his post, he traces the various views on this 'hipster' visual representations of modern ruins. These even reach a wider audience in popular cases such as Detroit (in Germany for example through the well known weekly Der Spiegel).
Arguably, many Cold War relics I will deal with in my project are 'ruins'. Over on the German language part of my blog I (intend to) gather quite a few examples. Actually, when preparing a post, I even have to choose a featured image which is meant to persuade people to click and read the story. Mullins' article got me thinking about whether I'm thereby not just engaging in ruin porn, but even advocating a "purely self-centered gaze and seeing urban and industrial ruination for sensationalistic if not purely emotional and instinctive reasons".
In his appraisal ... more