Into the Pines is a body of work that leads the viewer on a mediated journey, one that encourages the reader to construct meaning through an investigation of several photographic mediums and materials. A patchwork of incomplete stories, the work is a genre study of North American murder ballads, built on a spine of both personal and cultural histories. While many of the images found within the work reference such histories, others speak to a universal fascination with tragedy, where it comes from, and how it shapes our lives.

In book form, the work is presented as a visual dossier, a collection of many individual “pieces” that function within a larger puzzle. By using an array of visual strategies, the work hints at past events, both authentic and fabricated. While the absence of original context invites speculation about what has or has not occurred, it is in the sequence that the images begin to foster new meanings and relationships. The work acts as an enigmatic book, a mixture of materials that the viewer is left with to construct meaning with on their own terms, allowing for narratives that become representative of the mind that constructs them. In the end, the work is an examination of a deviant world through deviant eyes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Photography, Artistic; Artists' books; Photobooks; Tragedy--Pictorial works; Ballads, English--North America--Pictorial works; Deviant behavior in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Arts (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)


Christine Shank

Advisor/Committee Member

Gregory Halpern


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes