Table of Con­tents | Arti­cle doi: 10.17742/IMAGE.SA.12.1.14 | PDF

This image is neither decorative nor strictly available for simple denotative description. Our project rejects captions altogether. The spirit of this project is very much one of uncertainty and imagination. We hope that anyone with visual impairments will glean information from the written compositions.

How do you pre­pare for some­thing you can’t identify?

Train #75 – Toron­to to Wind­sor: Zoned out, gaz­ing at the win­dow, imag­in­ing what is to come. I’ve nev­er been to Wind­sor, yet some­how had an image of it in my head. Flat, two-dimen­sion­al def­i­n­i­tions, sin­gle notions meant to cap­ture an entire city. Wikipedia called it “Indus­tri­al!”

O, city of industry!

In my mind, I cut a large por­tion of the trees I had plant­ed there, expand­ed the immi­grant neigh­bour­hoods, replaced cen­tu­ry homes with mono­lith­ic build­ings, auto­mo­bile head­quar­ters, blue suits.

Cap­tains of industry!

The hyper­linked words on Wikipedia are a bright blue to appear more impor­tant; they are bea­cons, beg­ging you to click on them. After wad­ing through a series of cerulean clicks, I real­ized I was look­ing at Manuel Moroun’s Simp­sons-style car­i­ca­ture on the Detroit Metro Times land­ing page.

30 min­utes to Wind­sor: We approach a scrap yard. For the next 30 sec­onds, I get to take my phone out and cap­ture some poor-qual­i­ty images of the yard. I think to myself: I will come back here for sure.

The Actu­al”

Upon arriv­ing in “actu­al” Wind­sor, I see a pro­ces­sion of old cars; a cortege for the hey­day I seem to have missed—the oppo­site of what I expect­ed from the “auto­mo­tive cap­i­tal of Cana­da.” Dur­ing the eight-minute-long dri­ve from the train sta­tion to my hotel, I see a few Ara­bic store signs and restau­rants. Wikipedia has already edu­cat­ed me about the Arab pop­u­la­tion in Windsor.

Day one – ele­va­tor:

They must be smart, pre­pared and intimidating.

Day one – 3:30 pm:

A shared sense of con­fu­sion fol­lowed by curios­i­ty and excite­ment. It seems like a good recipe for the theme of anticipation.

Artist as tourist

The eye peers into the cam­era visor, each sub­ject a poten­tial top­ic of inter­est. I resist falling into a theme. It’s hard to stop. My lens sees tropes every­where, my brain wants composition.

Walk­ing, walk­ing, walk­ing … pause (zoom in), focus—“click!”

Walk­ing, walk­ing … stop! The bridge! (zoom), focus—“click!”

Walk­ing… stop! The flag! (Focus) and … “click!” The sound of the shut­ter rever­ber­ates in my head with every photo.

I feel a drop of rain on my fore­head. No more shut­ter sounds; only the mut­ed, repet­i­tive beat of foot­steps. The cam­era weighs on my shoul­ders. The entire day has passed. Hours of walk­ing through the streets of Wind­sor allowed me to cap­ture spe­cif­ic visu­al details, but the bur­den of reflect­ing some­one else’s land­scape made my own pres­ence heavy and burdensome.

Day two – 11 am:

Delete all!

Day two – 1 pm:

On my way back to the hotel, I see tiny crea­tures on the ground. Upon clos­er inspec­tion, they turn out to be date pits. I eager­ly wait for sun­set to cap­ture the date pits. I imag­ine the chore­og­ra­phy of some­one inten­tion­al­ly plac­ing them on the ground. They almost look staged.

Day three – 10 pm:

With each mouse click, there is antic­i­pa­tion… then sus­pen­sion, dis­ap­point­ment, eager­ness… the adjec­tives are end­less. If you pay atten­tion to the rhythm of your clicks, you can get a good sense of how close you are to where you want to be.


The date pits replaced the scrap yard. What is your top­ic of interest?