The Mistake by the Lake (#9), 2008
Digital Photograph/C Print, Dimensions Variable
The Mistake by the Lake is a photographic record of the assortment of school bus stop shelters scattered across the Buffalo, New York landscape. Local parents build these structures in order to protect their children from the frigid and snowy Buffalo winters. Though the shelters are created for a specific need, over time that need diminishes and these curious examples of amateur architecture are left to blend into their surroundings. They remain as reminders of past necessity.
Buffalo’s school bus stop shelters are evidence of a universal impulse of care, which contradicts and undercuts the narrative of neglect that the mention of Buffalo - Chris Mottalini’s hometown - sometimes invokes. The heart of this project is the documentation of the architectural products of human concern and emotion that have, in many cases, fallen into disuse. This project was recently published as a limited-edition book by Lozen Up.