When Trent Parke moved to Sydney from a small Australian country town, his first impression was the sheer number of people. He took his camera and went out exploring at every opportunity, fascinated by the endless processions.
At rush hour, he watched the city’s workers move en masse, all travelling the great conveyor belt of life. In a trance-like state, walking the same route day after day, week after week, year after year… stamping along, all under the spell of the city. Parke would stand on the edge of the wave, on the outside of a new world, looking in. As if looking at a newly discovered species.
“At night I watched the eclipse of moths, millions of them constantly circling the lights of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Simultaneously, on my balcony, a miniature spectacle was unfolding around the light above my head. The moths inevitably and without resistance were drawn to their ultimate end. Spirals out of control, like tiny spaceships caught in a tractor beam. Attracted and blinded by the brilliant white light, they were brought out by hundreds of birds swooping in to snatch them from the air… the spiders sat waiting on their webs. Constructed with precise co-ordinates on the face of the lights, they caught the tiny unfortunate creatures that slipped through. If any miraculously survived that onslaught, they continued on, propelled towards the flame, intoxicated by those burning luminous globes. Then suddenly an electric charge in the still air. A small puff of smoke. Gone. Instantaneous disintegration of a life form. Another blip in the universe. Another tiny spaceship colliding with the blazing sun. – Trent Parke