Vanshnookenraggen (văn – shnŏk’ – ĕn – răg’ ĕn) is Andrew Lynch.
Andrew Lynch is a CUNY Hunter College Alum (’09) with a BA in Geography. He is a photographer & cartographer living and working in New York City.
I’ve always had an interest in cities and the built environment. Growing up in upstate New York there were always abandoned buildings and fascinating relics to discover and explore. At the time my father worked in a rehabilitated old shirt factory on an island in the Hudson River which I would always love to explore. When I moved to Boston during the years of the Big Dig it was a dream come true for an urban explorer; a web of tunnels and elevated roads that were under construction or being torn down. It was in Boston that I discovered photography, first as a way to document where I had been and eventually developing my eye through trial, error, and discovery.
My photography has, so far, been my way to trying to see the City with my own eyes. Cities are a product of our understanding of society and as that understanding changes from generation to generation, so too do the cities we build. But cities also influence society and it is this back and forth that makes them, to me, such interesting places. Photography, to me, is my way of understanding and documenting this relationship. Photography was my way of discovering the city when I first moved here but now I use my talents mostly for work and the occasional urban exploration.
It was also in Boston where I first discovered my talent for making maps. Maps have always and forever will fascinate me but it wasn’t until I realized that the maps I wanted to really see were not yet drawn that I began crafting them for myself. My maps focus on the fantasy of the almost-reality. There are plenty of fantastical buildings that have never been built but there are also many plans for cities that have never come to fruition. My maps look at the unbuilt city of the futures-past and the potential of the future. More than with my photography I want my maps to make people question their surroundings and their cities.
“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”.
– the Serpent, Back To Methuselah