Mark Hahn Photography

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Tag: Olympus E-P1

Solar Culture Gallery – Miami Walk


Opening Saturday 3 October 2015

6-9 PM

My Photos on display:

Solar Culture Gallery is located at 31 East Toole Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701

These are three photos from the last night walk we took in Miami, AZ. It is a special place to go for me. I can dream about moving into one of the small three room little wooden shacks on the side of the hill — life could be much simpler.

Miami is just down the road from Claypool (where the Shamrock Bar is located). The Elvis room is further down Highway 60 in the El Ray Motel up in Globe.

All things connect in some way. This is a song I wrote about the Globe/Miami area:

For more information, contact Mark Hahn at

All images and content copyrighted 2016 by Mark Hahn with all rights reserved.

Lucky Strike – My Music CD available now!


My music CD, Lucky Strike, is available for ordering now! It can be found on Amazon or through my eStore: Digital sales are going through Bandcamp: Supporting independent artists can make you feel good, and if you’re interested, you might like my songs, so check them out. Uncompressed mastered tracks sound way better than my youtube posts or what bandcamp streams. Thanks all for support!

 Back cover:


The photos and layout were done by me. Background on the cover photo is that it a “bridge” that my youngest son built when he was very young. We were exploring Sabino Canyon (here in Tucson) together and he built this structure before we both jumped into the stream for a cold swim. The back cover is from an abandoned trailer park, shot through the tattered screen.

Solar Culture Gallery – Forest Haven Asylum


Opening Saturday 6 January 2015

6-9 PM

My Photos on display:

Solar Culture Gallery is located at 31 East Toole Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701

These are three photos from our trip to the Forest Haven Asylum in Laurel, MD. We spent three days inside these walls exploring the abandoned facility. After I finish my upcoming music CD project, I plan on releasing a book that will document the interior of Forest Haven and my emotional response to being there.

For more information, contact Mark Hahn at

All images and content copyrighted 2015 by Mark Hahn with all rights reserved.

Drainage Ditch


There are places that people just like going. Places that are nice to spend spare moments in and explore. This is a drainage ditch that is across the street from the Grease Monkey oil charge place that services my car. I hand them the keys and walk across the street to this land behind the Doughnut Wheel doughnut shop and a Fry’s supermarket. There is also a dollar store in the same plaza. I like climbing up and down the drainage ditch and exploring the area in behind the loading docks and the small houses in the nearby neighborhood. I don’t know why I like it so much, but it’s a place for me to feel momentarily free from all the crushing pressures of daily life. I took these photos the last time I had my car’s oil changed.

I rarely meet anyone in this place, but once when I was coming out I was swarmed by cops. They said the place was a common place for drug dealers to hang out. I laughed and said I had never seen anyone here. The most aggressive cop got in my face and asked me if I had been using drugs. I laughed and said, “I haven’t even had a beer for over twenty years!” He then told me to empty my pockets.

“I’m friends with a public defender who told me that you don’t have have submit to any search without a warrant,” I siad.

“See that drainage ditch, it’s all no trespassing! I can arrest you right now for just being in there!” the cop snarled at me.

“There’s not a single sign anywhere!” I said.

“There doesn’t have to be a sign! It’s city property!” the cop shouted.

“I’m pretty there have to be No Trespassing signs every 25 feet if it’s posted!” I snapped back.

At this point, the asshole cop grabbed me by the arm and said he was taking me in. He had the whole intimidation thing down pat. He liked it. Then he asked, “So what are you going to do if we find drugs in your pocket?”

I took this to be a threat that he could plant whatever he wanted on me and at that point there would nothing I could do about it.

Thankfully, at this moment, the “good cop” stepped up and asked in a nice voice, “What were you doing down there anyway?”

I pulled my out my camera and told him I was just taking photos. The good cop asked, “Taking photos of graffiti?”

I said, “Something like that.”

Good cop told me he had a friend that went out and did stuff like that.

Then the asshole cop interrupted, “You can either empty your pockets right here for me or we can haul you in and we’ll search you there.”

The good cop gave me a look that I took to mean, “Just do it, I can’t stop this asshole cop from doing what he’s going to do.”

I shrugged, “Once you put it that way,” and turned my pockets inside out. They were empty.

Asshole cop snarled, “Now get out of here before I run you in for trespassing.”

I glared at him and walked slowly back to pick up my car.

When I took these photos there were no cops in sight.

Solar Culture Gallery – Jackrabbit Homesteads


Opening Saturday 27 September 2014

6-9 PM

My work in this show:

Solar Culture Gallery is located at 31 East Toole Avenue, Tucson, AZ

East of Twenty Nine Palms California, north of Joshua Tree National Monument and at the far end of Wonder Valley, the desert opens up and California State Highway 62 seems to stretch out and lead you into forever. There is a place along this road where the rugged landscape is dotted with curious tiny dwellings. These are the Jackrabbit Homesteads. There are hundreds of them. No signs tell you who built them or for what. It’s easy to imagine they are the remnants of some sprawling Utopia that has been long lost to the winds. Maybe I’m just always looking for a personal Utopia, but that’s what I see. A place to escape to.

Part of me looks at these little homesteads and dream of moving in. Part of me would like to leave everything behind. You can stand on the threshold of any one of these structures and imagine a beautiful alternative life. A simple life free of all the trouble and struggle that seems to go with every day.

In the 1940’s, thanks to the passage of the Small Tract Act of 1938, people could stake a claim to small parcels of land in this region and take ownership if they built a dwelling on the property. These homes were mostly scooped up by urban dwellers in nearby Los Angeles who were looking for free vacation property. Many of the homes were built by hand by these claim stakers. You could buy minimal homestead kits. These pet projects were basically the stuff of dreams.

People like the idea of using their own two hands to build their way to freedom. I imagine the homesteaders had the same sense of purpose as the men who spend their nights building boats or airplanes in their garages. Blow up the garage to get them out. There are many routes to freedom. At this point in my life, I would like nothing more for than to slow down and settle into somewhere peaceful – maybe it’s just a place in my mind.

Unfortunately, most of the land in Wonder Valley is barren and the ground dry. Water had to be transported in. Utilities were not available in many areas. Dreams die. After the romantic thrill of ownership faded, so did the enthusiasm. People slowly abandoned these places. Life went on, but theses little dwellings stand as monuments to simple dreams.

Left in tatters, the last standing Jackrabbit Homesteads still provide a place for me to place my own transitory dreams. A place for a new beginning. A place to find peace. To get there, you have to start from the road that you are already on. In this case, it’s Highway 62.

For further thoughts on the concept of home and minimal living, see my article This Must Be the Place. For further information on the Jackrabbit Homesteads, check out this website.

Another Road

Just off the property line from your place of work is an old dead truck that you can stand behind. Here you are screened from your boss’ gaze and the relentless heat of the blistering sun above. You and your coworkers can tip back a half pint while you laugh at the time that slips away. It’s just another road lined with scrap yards, body shops and sign manufacturers.

Click on any thumbnail to launch the gallery view.

Recycle or Die

Long before the claws of death scoop up the final dregs of life and sifts them into one pile of small worthless pieces of shit and another pile of larger worthless pieces of shit, someone has already ripped apart everything to find anything that holds value. The scrap yard contains a cross section of stuff that most people don’t want to see or even think about. Whatever had once been useful in life is eventually cast off.

What do we do with all this stuff that no one wants? Personally, I’ve always found great creative inspiration in the temporary collections of salvaged stuff assembled during the recycling process. This is the energy of organization — the relative polarity between order and disorder played out on a bed of toxic soil. In a small way, the structure of life and the universality of biochemistry is mirrored in these haphazard piles of stuff. What they become is up to the observer. We get to play god when we give ourselves over to art.

On the southside of Tucson exists a stretch of land bounded by railroad tracks, the Air Force base, prisons and small pieces of desert nowhere. This is where you find junk yards, scrap yards, refineries and small dirty industries — everything that most people want to ignore.

As the man who let us into the scrap yard said, “My wife can’t stand when I make her come down here!”

We laughed.

As much as his wife didn’t want to see where her husband worked, their joint economic lives depended on it. The scrap yard was an integral part of their personal economic cycle of life. It is the end and the beginning.

We build houses to create order, we fill these houses with stuff to create an illusion of personal order. We layout cities to impose an ideal of social order. The workers in a scrap yard move things around to create value in order from what we cast off — harnessing the energy dispersion of our wasteful society.

An interesting side effect that comes from working with the junk of life is that many people can’t help but see themselves in it. At nearly every junk and scrap yard that you pass, if you look close enough you will find where workers will have assembled humanoid muffler-art men, animals and other fantasy objects out of the junk at hand. Some is used for advertising no doubt, but much of it is simply made to fulfill the basic human need to create representational objects that mark our existence. Fantasies come from the junk of life, not from what we own.

This is the stuff that has no immediate value, but evokes imagination and emotions. The stuff that we don’t know what else to do with is there for appropriation. These are the things that can be seen and assembled in new ways. Dreams are created from what is at hand. Creative magic brings all the bullshit of life together in such a way that it becomes something else — something beautiful and something new.