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Ghost City: Neighborhood Walks
Artist Project
by Jody Zellen

Jody Zellen, photograph


I have been working on, for lack of a better word, a poetic photo-essay I call "Street Talk / Neighborhood Walks".  The best way for me to present it is as a scrolling, interactive web page to which the stills here link.


Here’s the URL for the project; jot it down, click through. Join me on my walks and go on your own adventures:



Since the onset of Covid-19 and the directive to stay at home I have been taking walks in my neighborhood. I was soon struck with the proliferation of chalk drawings by children, as well as adults, and began to document them. The communication has shifted over time. The initial markings were about staying safe and spreading love not germs. I saw a lot of hearts, flowers and images of the sun. 


I came across a chalk drawing of a zoom meeting where each participant was depicted as an animal head. I spotted birthday, mother's day and graduation well-wishes and stick figures wearing masks. In time the messages became more political — in solidarity with George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. After the spate of looting came and went, many storefronts in Santa Monica were boarded up and became an outlet for a wealth of messages.


The images in "Street Talk / Neighborhood Walks" are the serendipity of these daily neighborhood walks. 


Each word in the text below is a link to an image along the horizontal scroll:

A  Walk  Each  Day  Yields  Different  Communication  About  The  State  Of  The World . . .


The text within the images reads: 

As time goes on what is seen and said is not the same it is this then that and it all is the now of our life.

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