Sound Horn | Proceed with Caution


Rochester, NY is the home town of the Kodak company. Hard hit by rapid changes in the photography industry the company and many suppliers went into decline. The city lost a big part of its manufacturing jobs. The city center is suffering. Many people left the town for the more affluent suburbs.

In Sound Horn | Proceed with Caution, I look for the answer to the question why a city with an intensive knowledge economy is shrinking. How does that shrinkage manifest itself and what does the future hold for a city stripped of its livelihood?

I interviewed 20 people. Three of those interviews are included in this publication combined with an essay. The interviews, portraits and urban landscapes are the prelude to a larger publication about cities and regions which, hard hit by the departure of the manufacturing industry, are looking for new sources of income and a future.

‘Sound Horn | Proceed with Caution’ was presented as part of ‘Transitions’. It was initiated by Cary Markerink and I in collaboration with VSW and George Eastman House in Rochester and FOTODOK in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Andrea Stultiens, Oscar Palacio, Greg Halpern, Juliana Muniz, Dan Varenka and FUA Krew were invited to participate in this project. Six small ‘cahiers’ has been published. There were exhibitions in George Eastman House and Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY in the autumn of 2011.

Sound Horn will continue as a project by Theo Baart. Sound Horn | Proceed with Caution is part I. Part II Sound Horn | Markering Ontbreekt is made in the Netherlands (2013).

download Proceed with Caution (1mb PDF)

Text and photography: Theo Baart
Text editing: Warna Oosterbaan and Alison Nordström
Translation: Cecily Layzell
Design: Kummer & Herrman
Production: Femke Lutgerink (FOTODOK) and Rick Hock & Tate Shaw (VSW)

Financial support: Mondriaan Foundation  Amsterdam