Tavius Koktavy is a second year at Gallatin shaping a concentration around photography and computer science, with the aim of using new technologies to provoke deeper interpersonal connections through artistic media. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Tavius traveled the Western United States before starting college, drawing stylistic influences from landscape panoramas. One extra-wide image detailing Arches National Park in Utah was used by PBS NOVA. New York City has also impacted his creative process, leading him to incorporate documentary and photojournalistic styles into his work. His current artistic curiosities center around what first inspires the viewer to engage with art, how they then choose to interact with the work, and the personal enrichment obtained from the resulting experience. After all, what is life, if not shared experience?
The Twin Peaks Mall—a hallmark-no-more of Longmont, Colorado—was akin to any suburban center, and was reminiscent to me of grandparents, adolescence, and slow summer afternoons. Returning home during my gap years, I learned of the Mall’s slated demolition and set out to document what still remained. This duty to make a record then fused with an exploration of the beauty inherent to urban decay, evoking a surprisingly intimate reflection. In recognizing the duality between the concept of decay as a constant and the uncanny way photography enables the abstraction of this flow of time, “Formerly” aims to construct a narrative of introspection through common nostalgia.
Viewers are invited to recall fragments of their own memories by physically sifting through these scattered prints—the last tangible representations of what was long ago a vibrant community space—and register their impressions on a journal.