We’ve discussed before the appeal and complications of ruined and abandoned buildings–but I don’t think any of us have taken things as far as Bradley Garrett, an academic who studies urban explorers–and has become a leader of the movement himself.
In last month’s GQ, Matt Power wrote an incredible profile of Garrett:
Garrett sees his own work as restoring the true spirit of Ninjalicious, pushing the Urbex boundaries beyond the trendy venues: derelict and abandoned buildings. The Urbex term for derelict structures is derp, the sort of places made famous by the romantically postapocalyptic photography of decaying infrastructure nicknamed “ruin porn.” “The roots of urban exploration are actually in infiltration, and we’ve forgotten that as a community,” said Garrett. “We’re bringing it back to its core. We’re seizing it from those fucking ruin fetishists.” Garrett calls for a more radical set of tactics into what he calls “live sites.” He sees this kind of unsanctioned reclamation of space as the best means to regain freedom in a society that is utterly cordoned and securitized. He carries sheets of stickers that read explore everything, which he affixes as a sort of calling card everywhere he goes.
And here’s my favorite line:
Once you begin playing this game, the entire world becomes filled with secret doors.