Jordan Putt is a photographer whose work responds to issues of place, identity, and community. He earned a BA in Psychology from Northern Arizona University, and is a current MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago. His work has been exhibited in the Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson; Filter Space, Chicago; and Perspective Gallery, Chicago; among others. He was a 2018 recipient of the Graduate Fellowship and Lya Dym Rosenblum grant from Columbia College Chicago, as well as, a 2017 recipient of a Professional Development Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Jordan is based in Chicago, IL where he is attending graduate school and working as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.
I began this work in 2016 when I got hired as a Land Surveyor for the City of Tucson, Arizona. The office where I worked from was coincidentally located in the historic neighborhood of South Tucson. This was the same neighborhood that my grandfather also worked as a traveling salesman for close to 30 years starting in the early 1940s. Originally learning the trade of Land Surveying from my father, my day job consisted of marking the boundaries and mapping the physical geography in the neighborhood. Field Book came from the need to make a more multidimensional record that was able to document the social terrain in addition to the physical space.
Field Book serves as a meditation on place and the nuanced interaction between humans and their physical surroundings which they are constantly redesigning. Focusing on three specific neighborhoods, the work is sequenced as a narrative moving west from South Tucson. The title, Field Book, is based on the survey field books which are used to record the traverses through a specific area. Like the original field books, this work assembles fragmented records of my own photographic traverse within the region to create a lasting document of the place. This ongoing project is intended to take the form of a book consisting of archival maps that mark the chapters as the viewer moves west. Drawing inspiration from the path of my grandfather in this region, this work has become a way to retrace his steps and explore the parallels of our experiences in the same terrain over three generations.
To view more of Jordan Putt’s work please visit his website.