Photographic artist, Michael Massaia focuses his camera lens on 18-wheelers at rest stops at night in New Jersey to truly astounding effect, reminding us there is art in transportation. Transportation management systems and transportation optimizers are in essence, just so many millions of lines of code. They are beautiful in the theoretical sense insofar as they alleviate the pain points suffered by shippers and the customers they serve. It’s easy to forget that the algorithmic and technological forces marshaled by the TMS and optimizer are brought to bear upon actual materials being physically moved across vast, open spaces.
As we revealed in Part 1 of this casually ongoing series, the network of roads tattooed across the United States forms an amazingly beautiful web of arteries, veins and capillaries when viewed from far above. Yet, the roadways themselves are but one part of the intricate dance of logistics. The other player in this ballet of movements is the tractor-trailer, a mundane beast whose endless, grinding toil goes virtually unnoticed day after day across millions of miles of roadway.
That is, until photographic artist, Michael Massaia focused his camera lens on 18-wheelers at rest stops at night in New Jersey, for his series entitled, “Seeing the Black Dog“. As Gizmodo.com’s Robert Sorokanich explains, the series is “Named after the phantom black dogs truckers hallucinate once sleep deprivation sets in, this series captures the stark, haunting stillness of road warriors at rest.”
Shooting on large format film (no digital processing here) and hand developing his subjects, Massaia produces these eerie yet beautiful images. Transforming the unsightly, ungainly and unnoticed workhorses into lustrous, fulsome steeds, Massaia reveals the artistry hiding in transportation.