Gina LeVay Sandhogs

ISBN 13: 9781576875230

Sandhogs

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9781576875230: Sandhogs
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Sandhogs are miners 800 feet below the streets of Manhattan, tunneling bedrock to construct the largest unified infrastructure project in New York City history--the 60-mile-long City Water Tunnel #3. The future of Gotham depends on the efforts of these unseen miners, as this new water channel will supplement the two existing, decrepit tunnels, preventing a potentially catastrophic water shortage. It's imminent completion will ensure that fresh, clean water continues to flow to every resident of the city. Excavation of CWT#3 began in 1970. For each mile tunneled, approximately one Sandhog has lost his life in a mining related accident. Generations of Sandhogs have accepted this daunting "man-a-mile" formula as part of the job, but few New Yorkers know about this mammoth excavation--or the story of the Sandhogs themselves.

Sandhogs is an original portal to the unseen characters and systems of underground New York--revealing the essential "art form" of mining in the modernized city. In 2003 Gina LeVay was granted rare access to photograph the "hogs," in the tunnel and at off-site locations. "The Sandhog Project" is a multi-faceted work of photo, video, web, and installation art, which explores the figurative and literal overlay, and mutual dependency of the surface city and this underground world. With the Sandhogs book and accompanying exhibitions, LeVay introduces the public to this vibrant and intricate subculture, bringing their extraordinary, subterranean imagery to the surface for the first time ever.

The three main sections of the tunnel--Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan--will be activated over the next few years. The tunnel's 40-year journey is coming to an end. Mining has already ceased and concreting has been completed in the areas that LeVay photographed. Soon 1.5 billion gallons of water will flow through the channel daily, delivering water to the entire city--a historic and monumental feat of engineering and a testament to the power of the human spirit.

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About the Author:

Gina LeVay was born in Chicago and holds an MFA in Photography and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. LeVay works both in the U.S. and abroad, on independent and commissioned projects. Her award-winning work The Sandhog Project, was exhibited as a large-scale photo and video installation at New York s Grand Central Terminal in 2006. LeVay has been a grant recipient of The Andrew Rhodes Fund for Young Artists at The Visual Arts Foundation, as well as one of PDN s 30 image-makers of the future. Gina is an alumnus and current staff member of The Eddie Adams Workshop, as well as a visiting faculty member of the LLA Academy in India. She is currently based in New York City.
Bonnie Yochelson is an art historian and curator specializing in photography. She received an MA and PhD from New York University s Institute of Fine Arts and was Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York before working independently. She has published numerous books on New York photography, including Bernice Abbott: Changing New York, The Complete WPA Project (1997) and Rediscovering Jacob Riis (2007). She is on the faculty of the MFA Photography Department of the School of Visual Arts.
Thomas Kelly, a former sandhog, is the author of three novels; Payback, The Rackets, and Empire Rising.

Review:

"Eight-hundred feet down, sandhogs... are working around the clock toward completion of what has been called the largest construction project in the western hemisphere—the city s third water tunnel. But the sound of their giant drill is so buffered by layers of rock that New Yorkers sleep undisturbed, and even the dogs don t bark. [These] photos are as close as Gothamites will ever get to the $6 billion project ...the 60-mile underground labyrinth." --
Associated Press

"LeVay s rare access has allowed her to create a unique and extensive visual exploration of the workers behind the crucial subterranean system that will keep NYC supplied with fresh water in the 21st century." --
Popular Mechanics

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