Largely unknown photographer Stanley Sanger is a cryptic and enigmatic figure. Born in Mojave, CA in 1955, he was raised by his uncle after his parents suffered a fatal car accident mere weeks after his birth. Having known his family only through photographs, Stanley became obsessed with the medium. He spoke little and was never seen without a camera. Stanley was said to have been debilitatingly preoccupied with the passage of time and his attempts to preserve it. It is said that he took a photograph nearly every minute of his life. However, no portraits of Stanley himself exist. The few that knew him say that Stanley felt that he did not live in reality, only in photographs, just as the people he loved, but had never actually met.
In the 1970’s, Stanley sold his parents estate and used his fortune to build an underground darkroom, many thousands of square feet, hidden somewhere in the Mojave desert. He was known to lock himself down there for months on end, developing, categorizing, and filing the literally hundreds of thousands of photos he had taken throughout his life. Before his final disappearance in the late 1990’s, Stanley documented Spindrift as they worked on several film soundtracks at a studio near his underground darkroom. At the end of the sessions, Stanley vanished. Leaving behind his film, his final known work. The images were left to director Rob Bray, a close friend and confidant to Sanger, who had been on hand for the sessions. No specific instructions were included, simply a note that read “Rob, The image must live, as the moment will die. Always, S”. It is said that Sanger returned to his darkroom never to resurface again. Sources close to the artist speculate that Stanley is still down there, immersed in his photographic world. The nearly seven thousand images he shot from this session have since been developed and arranged, creating a staggering animation effect. A few experts in the know fervently note that Sanger inadvertently was a first pioneer in the timelapse effect, painstakingly shooting and developing each image by hand. Although, those who knew him will tell you it was simply his attempt to placate his crippling fear of the time passing undocumented.
Many thanks are due to Morgan Night, and his facility the Hicksville Trailer Palace, as well as engineer and mixer Ethan Allen for their dutiful efforts and guidance.
Here’s the new video from Spindrift entitled “When I Was Free”, directed by Rob Bray: