Here are some of my pics for Detroit media, as well as a few creative projects I’ve worked on. If you buy anything through these Amazon Affiliate links, it’ll help my business. Thanks for checking it out!
Published in 2011 as a book showing abandonment and ruins. There’s a fascinating twist with this book, which is that nearly everything shown here has been renovated, is now on track for renovation, or has been demolished, making this not only interesting in its original context but for how much has changed in a few years.
Same title, different author. This is less about “ruins” and more about buildings contemporary Detroiters may have never had the chance to see. An incredible collection of buildings that were here and gone before most of us were around.
This gigantic coffee table book is full of extensive information on the earliest years of our city and covers all of the years before photography. The 18th Century proves to be unrecognizable in almost every way, and the lithographs and illustrations are enticing.
Aaron Foley is one of the best contemporary voices in Detroit, and since writing this book he’s gone from editing Blac Magazine to working for the new Department of Neighborhoods in the mayor’s office. Check out this very timely, satirical take, on what’s happening right now in the city.
This is one of the best accounts of housing discrimination in Detroit over the course of the 20th Century. If you wonder why race riots happen and have never heard of housing covenants, this is critical reading.
Henry Ford is responsible for life as we knew it in the 20th century. Doesn’t that make you curious to know more?
Many of you ask how we made it through bankruptcy in 2013 without losing the Detroit Institute of Arts. Not only does this book explain how, but it publishes the names of the vultures hired to dismantle it.
Berry Gordy discovers Diana Ross. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. speak at King Solomon Church. The March to Freedom. The pre-riot city at a peak of auto production. A personal story of parallel lives. Pretty cool stuff.
I was a production assistant on this film and ended up doing a little bit of work in many different departments. If you watch carefully, you might see me playing accordion for a few seconds. This is also the film that had me creating hand-drawn maps of the city every day. Detroit here is a stand in for any rust belt city. Stars Ron Perlman (“Hellboy”), Taryn Manning (“8 Mile”), and Joey Pantoliano (“The Sopranos”). Won best screenplay at the 2009 San Diego film festival.
This is almost a tone poem rather than a documentary. In 2009 when this was filmed, it seemed that the abandonment of Detroit would continue indefinitely, which means that nature would retake the city. Wild pheasants, tall grass, and urban farms win out in this depiction, rather than billionaire developers and chain retail. I was a consultant and production assistant on this film.
This documentary follows the Detroit Fire Department over the course of 2011. Amazing, harrowing stuff.
Zelda and the Unibrows is my longstanding music project. “Detroit Urbanism” historian Paul Szewczyk and I have been creating music together for over 20 years, and here is some of it.