"The Darkest City is a dialogue conducted in text and images between Romanian-born writer Andrei Guruianu and American photographer and visual artist Teknari. The Darkest City draws its inspiration from Teknari’s black and white photographs of the Southern Tier of New York, whose small cities and villages have at times been labeled by some as “drive through” kind of places. Once known for being the birthplace of IBM, the Endicott Johnson shoe factories that furnished boots for American soldiers in WWII, Guglielmo Marconi’s first radio tower, as well as the Twilight one series, large parts of the area now lie in disrepair, abandoned, a modern ruinscape. The claw marks are visible on the empty factories, boarded up storefronts, the houses and churches that have seen the rise and fall of industry. Despite the inevitable change and fresh coat of paint that comes with time, the image remains often dark and bleak, one that unfortunately is all too familiar when one conjures up visions of small town America.
As The Darkest City is rooted in the ancient practice of ekphrastic exchange and artistic dialogue, we invite readers along the way to contribute their thoughts and reflections and insert themselves into this narrative be it on art and aesthetics, on memory and loss, or on identity and a sense of purpose and belonging. In the following pages we ask you to consider along with us: What do our modern lives suspended between the metaphorical here and then look like, and how do we go about living them to their fullest?