Synkroniciti is excited to welcome back Pittsburgh based photographer Jason Baldinger, the creator of our stunningly eerie cover, “Point Pleasant, WV.” We’ve featured Jason’s thought-provoking (sometimes haunting, sometimes humorous) collaborative work with poet Robert L. Dean, Jr. in “Curiosity” and they are both back in “Broken” with three ekphrastic pieces: “Point Pleasant, WV/Standard Time,” “Ladonnia, MO/A Well-Lighted Place,” and “Walkersville, WV/The Hang Up. These pieces reflect the emptiness and decay in small town America, which bustled with manufacturing and activity not so long ago, and show how the existential pondering stirred up by the passage of time reinterprets the past with implications for the future. Two more photos, “Black Lick, PA” and “Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area (McKeesport, PA),” jarring juxtapositions of nature and suburban graffiti, both of which overflow in a land time has forgotten, join a feature article on Jason’s photography, which follows his travels in search of places where no one is looking. There are those who focus on urban decay, but fewer have their eye on rural and suburban areas which are becoming ghost towns.
As far as our cover, you might expect Vincent Price or Rod Serling to walk across the frame with its uncanny angular juxtaposition, devoid of human presence. This world feels on the edge of apocalypse; horror, or at least a gritty bit of noir, is just around the corner. Black and white photography amplifies our attention to shadow and texture, feeling unreal and unrelenting in its gaze.
You can experience Jason’s thought-provoking photography and read the feature article in our upcoming September 1st issue, “Broken,” available for pre-order here: https://synkroniciti.com/the-magazine/purchase-individual-issues/.
Jason Baldinger is a poet and photographer from Pittsburgh, PA. He’s penned fifteen books of poetry the newest of which include: The Afterlife is a Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press), A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010-2020 (Kung Fu Treachery), and This Still Life (Kung Fu Treachery) with James Benger. His first book of photography, Lazarus, is forthcoming. His work has appeared across a wide variety of print journals and online.
You can hear him read his work on Bandcamp and on lp’s by The Gotobeds and Theremonster.