Brooklyn Buzz is an extended visual exploration of Brooklyn, New York, and its inhabitants viewed through the frame of a bus window. The project was conceived, developed, and realized in the summer of 2010 as a symbolic, photographic portrait of America in this specific time in history - and beneath the rhetoric, a display of life - in the big city.
Each image is a passing, chance arrangement of figures that appear in front of the camera before the bus moves on. “Brooklyn Buzz” is an original and intimate portrait that aims to capture the soul and powerful energy of Brooklyn. And unexpectedly, it is not the image of New York in 2010 that most Americans harbor, nor is it the image that New York projects to the world from the PR offices of the mayor or the glamorous Midtown headquarters of major corporate media.
The choice of abandoning overall control of the image, and placing themselves at the mercy of circumstances, was inspired by Robert Frank’s masterpiece “The Americans” (1955–1956) – widely considered a mirror reflecting 1950s America through European eyes – and by the photographers personal desire to engage an emotionally challenging and visually striking exploration of the human and social landscape of Brooklyn, their adopted city since 2007.
"Riding local buses with the intention of capturing the essence of “the real thing” was a very rewarding although tough experience: local buses are crowded with children and elders, with a humanity rarely seen on the Manhattan-centric subway cars. It feels like riding a mobile living room where you experience a special intimacy and sense of sharing; where people talk, fight, laugh, sleep, eat, cry, scream, and listen, all the while observing one another through a filter of bodies. The windows also work as filters, but with the outside world: sometimes as enlarging lenses, amplifying and revealing unpredictable details, while capturing life as it is at that precise moment, in the streets, at the bus stop, through the windows of a local deli – frames framing other frames. Other times they work more as protective barriers, yet facilitating a deeply penetrating view into people’s lives, momentary glimpses of otherwise unknown, hidden, forbidden, or difficult-to-access places, faces or circumstances. Stealing emotions with the camera, capturing an expression on a face, a body in motion, or a simple gesture is the very essence of photography’s timeless and universal function to observe, record, and – without apology – comment."
- Gaialight and Alessandro Cosmelli