Photographer Darren Holden immortalises obsolete technology that once held the promise of the future.

03.05.24 - 29.06.24

"If only they could speak, these machines.
What secrets could they tell?
Of bitter boardroom battles?
Of torrid office affairs?
Or, perhaps of dark and dubious business dealings by erstwhile Trumps, while surrounded by stunned and silent shareholders.

But no longer do ghostly office workers sip their coffee, waiting for the beeping of the dial-up modem to stop its chattering, signalling successful connection to the nascent internet.

No longer do the cathode ray tubes slowly warm up their green glow to reveal the flashing cursor at the edge of the screen, ready for the new breed of comptometers to accept their commands from their human operatives.

The floppy drives lie empty and silent, their disk data unreadable and unknowable. Are they thirsting still for connection to parallel ports, eager to transfer their information to compatible parallel printers?

These office machines and control units may look forlorn and forgotten now, replaced by blisteringly fast and shiny new iMacs and laptops, and the integrated processors that control twenty-first century units, but they are the silent remnants of a revolution as earth-shattering as the Gutenberg Press or the Industrial Revolution.

Even the Wall Street Crash didn't leave these office relics as desolate and unloved as they are now. But captured by the marvels of modern technology, and in the hands of a master photographer, the world of the outdated computer comes alive again. In his hands, these photographs scream out the beauty that lies in solitude and abandonment.

Seen by the all-seeing camera, only the soulless can fail to be touched by the majesty of their decline, or by the capture, in these photographs, of their mindful moments." Barry Richards

03.05.24 - 29.06.24

at the modernist
58 Port Street, Manchester M1 2EQ
open 11am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday

Darren Holden, a passionate photographer based in Manchester with an enthusiastic flare for disused and abandoned buildings and institutions, not only in the UK but across Europe and as far as Asia, has now compiled another chapter in his photographic journey.

He has been documenting urban exploration avidly since 2002, although he completed his first project while still at school.

This sparked his interest, and ignited his desire to record and document abandoned buildings, initially in his native Manchester area. Nowadays, his interest has widened and a forthcoming project includes a reconnaissance and photographic trip to Poland.