by Star Rush



Picture 1 of 18

Seattle, 2010. iPhone 3Gs

We leave things, and maybe, they leave us, too, on streets, waiting on sidewalks, forgotten and far from shiny, set aside in corners. Long after better days have receded, there they sit–objects of rejection in public spaces: a white plush recliner, a toy, a bike left leaning, a discarded this or that. Items left in window sills, without owners but telling secrets in stillness and scuff. These are unimportant things. Donated, sold, trashed, ignored.  Shelved. These are the items before the journey to disappearing, before transforming, in limbo. There is in them a melancholy material of pleasures lost and now departed debris.

The images were captured and edited in 2010-11 in Portland, Seattle, and a few  small towns north of Seattle. All images were captured and edited on-board with an iPhone 3Gs.

Editor’s Note – Anil Cherukupalli

The flotsam and jetsam of humanity tells a story in itself. The things we discard are reflections of our changing tastes, aspirations and even dreams. A thing we coveted yesterday can become an object to be left on the sidewalk tomorrow. Seattle based photographer Star Rush’s photos are portraits of these melancholic rejects. Moody, reflective and formal in their framing the photos in this essay can also be construed as quiet observations of the dark side of consumerism where in the rush to posses the latest dream sold by the merchants who peddle instant retail gratification we often let go of things that still have a long life left to give.

Upon initial viewing of this essay, it is easy to get side tracked by the fact that every photo in it was shot and edited on an iPhone, that wunderkind of our mobile age. But upon repeat viewing, perhaps because of the sense of gloom the subjects in these photos seem to radiate, Departs leaves me with some uncomfortable questions about our collective propensity to generate so much waste. And that, beyond the many technical trivialities that one may want to know on how these photos were produced on a mobile phone, is perhaps the powerful message one needs to absorb from this essay.

About Star Rush
Star Rush is a Seattle documentary and street photographer, writer, and educator, and an advocate of mobile photography. Her work explores mythical and mundane notions of America as she tries to understand herself and the threads or stories that weave place and identity among images of belonging and leaving. She says, “How can images tell stories which situate past and present as moments of simultaneity? My mobile photography pursues the idea of pulling the past forward into lyrical, narrative images that transgress boundaries of old and new, using a utilitarian appliance, the everyday ‘eye’ of a cell phone camera.” Rush is an artist member of IDEA Odyssey Artist Cooperative & Gallery in Seattle, and a founding member of, an international collective of photographers creating images on mobile devices. She teaches composition and rhetoric at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. For information on prints, exhibition and her photoblog, visit


1 Comment

  • Reply April 30, 2012

    star rush

    Anil Cherukupalli

    First, I’m most honored to have my series, “departs,” featured in AKSGAR, and second, I am truly moved by the essay you’ve written, Anil, about the photos. It’s a beautiful take on what I’m after as a photographer and artist. Many thanks to you and Antonio Marques.

    Greetings from Seattle

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