From a friend of mine who is a sociology professor.
We usually only see each other once or twice a year at big gatherings of our friends. He saw some of my exploration photos on social media and one year revealed that he's considering starting a large research project on urban exploration and began asking me lots of questions - mostly about prevailing attitudes in the "urban exploration community." I said that I wasn't part of any community and that I just do this stuff by myself, have for a long time due to an interest in abandonments developed from growing up in an economically depressed rural area. I told him that I did this for myself and didn't really have an interest in chatting with randos about it.
He was fascinated by the fact that I was so into it but didn't know about the broader community or care about the whole pop-culture phenomenon around fetishization of urban decay. He asked if I knew about Infiltration. I said, "Yeah, I know about the old zine." He asked if I ever looked at UER, and I was like, "What's UER?"
When I got home, I looked up the UER website. I disregarded it for a while because this:
But after a few months, I thought to myself, "Maybe it could be cool if I engaged with other people on this." So, I made an account.
And here I am now with all of you (lovely) people.
Personally, I found some abandoned buildings in my area, explored them, documented them for my friends, and found myself very giddy about the whole process, so I went looking for a resource for new places and voila!
I was on a roof taking photos of the Detroit fireworks. A guy walks up to me and we start shooting the shit. It turns out he is a long time uer member. We exchange information. He was hosting a meet up and he invited me. I was exploring before i met him but only with friends and such. I hope to meet more people. I have a list of places i want to go but the list of people who will go with me is short. Is there a way to upload bigger files? Maybe by using html? or anything i am having issues keeping these photos viewable at this size. Photo from a church in Detroit.
I've been doing exploring for years since my childhood, but never knew it had a name beyond 'climbing', let alone a sprawling subculture. Later I ordered the zine and the book before eventually joining the site.
I am very lucky to know some brilliant urbex photographers who referred me to this website! Not to mention, Google loves linking me here whenever I am trying to find out if structures have been demolished or not. You guys are great!