Auston Marek is a video editor and photographer based in San Francisco, CA. His work is largely made in public spaces; looking for meaning in the sad, funny, beautiful, and banal places we’ve created for ourselves. Being a self-taught photographer with a background in filmmaking helped create his approach to photography as being a narrative device. While history, reading, and research inform an analytical foundation, his practice is based in improvisational wandering. The subject matter and thematic preoccupations reveal themselves over time, subconsciously. The work comes together after many images are gathered, and then the atmosphere and narrative is built in the sequencing of the photographs.
As a global pandemic began to shape what our society could become in the new decade, I began visiting towns and cities across the country to observe this unique public world. Communities were withdrawing into their private homes and I was left to consider the significance of the man-made habitats we’ve created and now share. The goal was not to tell a story about today’s current events, but to tap into the day’s mood in order to tell a more elusive truth. Having started the work in Central California, the focus of what I had been reading was the history of white migration from the American South, West. The world we live in today is shaped by our history; therefore, Best Western focuses on everyday imagery found in our specific American anthropocene, exploring an American Identity defined by the atmosphere created by the white man’s American Dream.
To view more of ‘s work please visit his website.