Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Burning House

If your house was burning, what would you bring with you?

It's a philosophical conflict between what's practical, valuable and sentimental. You're forced to prioritize and boil down a life of accrued possessions into what you can carry out with you. What you would bring reflects your interests, background and priorities. People's stage in life also dictates their selection. A father of five in his forties would grab very different things than he would have as a bachelor in his twenties. Think of it as a full interview condensed into one question.

Here is a list of what I would bring,

My Granfather's Explorer Scout shirt
Naked and Famous Jeans (three years old)
Nike SFB boots
Ralph Lauren alligator belt (well loved)
One basalt rock from the Columbia River Gorge
One shell from Nicaragua
Three shells and one stone from the Maine coast
Vintage Woolrich Horse skin hunting gloves
LaCie rugged hard drive (all of my photos and image research)
Oakley Razor Blades
iPhone 4

Not Pictured*

What would you bring?

Here are some more links,


Hallock said...

There are many meaningful objects in my life that I'd be sad to part with—my books, notes from friends, even a favorite pair of jeans, but I'd like to think they are not my raison d'ĂȘtre. That instead, they exist because of me, rather than I do them.

Let it burn and find what truly remains. Omnia mea mecum porto.

Foster Huntington said...

one of my friends once told me "people are defined not by the things they amass, but by the ones they can do with out." im not sure who said it, but it resonates with me,

Smashwindow said...

how did you get those to turn such a light colour all round. I have regular ralphs that are 6 years old and they have more pronounced contrast in the fade, but they're no where near as light as those..
Whats the secret?

Foster Huntington said...

the jeans started out in a pretty light color. i think they called it vintage indigo, but it looked more like robins egg to me. i wore them for 2 years without washing them. they are 15 0z denim and hold the dye very well. it takes time..

are yours indigo? RRL?


Anonymous said...

Ha! I once asked this question to a group of middle aged Chinese ladies I was teaching an ESL class to on the Lower East Side. They unanimously said "important documents." Though it was wintertime so one lady said she'd grab a warm coat.

Even though we're told as children not to try to rescue pets in the case of a fire, I said I'd grab my cat.

tintin said...

I'd grab my meat and beat it.

Foster Huntington said...

i didnt know you were a butcher?

gia said...

I don't know if your house is burning down or if you are planning on skipping town with your essentials... these look a little extravagant. i'd grab my purse and be relieved to be free of my (used and abused) belongings. hah!

Foster Huntington said...

with the gift of foresight, this is what i would bring. its a philosophical exercise more than a practical decision.

gia said...

I guess I would title it, "what are your favorite material possessions?"

Foster Huntington said...

now that just isnt as much fun is it?

Joy said...

This is beautifully and tastefully arranged. I love the photograph and the detail of the seashells. Definitely good for summer!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get your watch? I love it.

Foster Huntington said...

you can get a sub mariner date at most watch shops. they arent that rare. I switched out the metal bracelet for a nylon strap and havent looked back,

Anonymous said...

My hard drives.

Everything else can be replaced.

But not the photos.

PA2Florida said...

I'd grab my kids and Amex, all my important family photo's and doc's that are displayed are copies, the real ones are in the safe deposit vault. Also, I'd grab my phone to call my insurance agent :)

Eloise said...

I love the concept of this, it really makes you think. Definitely wouldn't forget the photos (or hard drive). Oh and all my cameras and vintage cameras. Those sunglasses are a kinda surprising choice lol.

Foster Huntington said...

you cant replace youre art! my harddrive in the photo has my photography on it and i have my favorite ones backed up on my picasa.

you go for the practical. those are the only things that really count. I am sure you could photograph that in a way that looked very cool.

I have had those sunglasses for 4 years and love them. they are the best ones i have ever owned. In high school i worked in a snowboarding shop and sold a lot of goggles. since then i have really respected the lenses that Oakley makes.

thanks for the kind words,

alan said...

fantastic exercise and choices. you got me thinking and now i will have to do one of these as well.

Foster Huntington said...

I'm starting a blog called the burning house with photos of the things people would take with them. Send me an email, foster.Huntington@gmail. Com if you're interested in contributing a photo,

PA2Florida said...

Foster, love the idea for the blog, takes EDC to a whole other level! Count me in for a pic.

Extension said...

hello, not even sure how i stumbled across your blog now that i think about it, but it is really nice, and makes for great viewing, superb!

Unknown said...

Where did you get those rad SFB boots?! Never seen them in blue...

Foster Huntington said...

I love edc but it tends to be a knife/flashlight porn site. The burning house is a lot more open ended in terms of what's in the photos and who I hope to have contribute. You don't see a lot of women contributing to edc for example. Send me an email and I will send you the format.

I got them off eBay. I have the high tops too, they are great shoes.


Rhon Bell said...

Foster, Been a big fan of your blog. You inspired me to create my own. Take a glance and let me know how I add your blog as a link of the side of mine.


GSV JR said...

What's going on with those mittens? I might burn your house down and take em.

Foster Huntington said...

They are vintage woolrich hunting mittens with a shooting flap on the right hand. They are made of horse hide.

James said...

Awesome question. I have a box in my room that's ready for me to throw out the window in case of a fire. It has thousands of old printed photos (3x5) taken of my family and me when we were young. My friend lost her house to a fire several years ago, and all they miss now were the photos inside.

Pinkus said...

Zeiss 35/2
I'm with you there

Did you use it on the recent pictures near the NM/CO border? Thought those shots had a familiar feel. I love that lens...

Foster Huntington said...

i shot those with a sigma 50mm f1.4 also a great lens. i love my zeiss. it makes everything feel like film especially shot raw.

doane said...

Swear by LaCie hard drives.

The Khaki Crusader said...


i just picked up the external hard drive you suggested, was looking for something just like it.

all the best man - enjoying the recent work.