A new project: The Olympic City
I’m excited to announce a new project: The Olympic City, a photo book I’m collaborating on with photographer Jon Pack that looks at the legacy of the Olympics Games in former host cities around the world. Hosting the Olympics has become a way for a city to show itself off on an international stage and generate toursim dollars, and cities spend millions or billions for the privilege. But after the events are over, the medals have been handed out, and the torch has been extinguished, what happens next?
In The Olympic City, we’re documenting the successes and failures, the forgotten remnants and the ghosts of the Olympic spectacle. Some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules, examples of misguided planning and broken promises of the benefits that the Games would bring. We’re interested in these disparate ideas — decay and rebirth — and how each site seems to have gone one way or the other, either by choice or circumstance. We’re equally interested in the lives of the people whose neighborhoods have been transformed by Olympic development.
A large-format hardcover book of the photographs will be published in March, 2013, in a limited edition of 1,000 copies. We’re excited the acclaimed graphic designer Paul Sahre is designing the book. There will also be an exhibition of the photos in New York City and other cities early next year, details TBA. We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign, you can back the project and receive copies of the book, a deleuxe version, original prints from the project, and more.
The role of the spectacle in urban design (sports stadiums, convention centers, etc.) was something our team discussed at length while making Urbanized but we didn’t end up having space to include that discussion in the film, so I’m excited to explore it in another media with this project. I hope you’ll follow along as we finish the book, it should yield some interesting discoveries.