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work in progress: Two-Million Volts to the Heart

My father was a company man living in the small company town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He became terminally ill at the age of twenty-six and died when he was thirty-nine. After his death, at the age of seventeen, I left home and returned to photograph when I was forty-nine. In revisiting my hometown, I was looking for a tangible connection to the man I never knew as an adult. The images in Two-Million-Volts to the Heart form a link with the past by exposing the cancerous landscape of my childhood, which has deeply affected us both.

General Electric (GE) long ago abandoned Pittsfield, one of their eighty-six national polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) Superfund sites. Throughout seventy years of illegal corporate dumping, GE donated contaminated soil to the town for use as landfill. GE’s illegal corporate dumping still makes itself known, as PCB’s continue to bubble up in basements, playgrounds, schools, rivers, and lakes.