I've Been Walking: Janet Sternburg Los Angeles Photographs 

144 page monograph, Distanz Verlag, Berlin, 2021, with a conversation and essay by Jane Bennett



I’ve Been Walking, the new monograph from writer and photographer Janet Sternburg, captures the soul of Los Angeles as it slowed to a stop. When the streets emptied in Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sternburg donned a mask and gloves and ventured out to explore the streets of Los Angeles, taking photographs to capture her journey through the altered landscape. “For a while I walked through Los Angeles’ empty streets, seeing mostly what was desolate,” she writes. “Then I started to see a poetry that I hadn’t always seen in more populated times.” In the following months, signs and traces of life appeared throughout an urban environment that had once seemed frozen in time.

I’ve Been Walking applies Sternburg’s attention to perception, memory, and layered experience to the unprecedented pandemic year. In one photograph entitled Lace flag, storm clouds swell behind a bent and cracked parking sign. In Sunrise gutter, glittering light reflects from a thin stream of water in the concrete. Sternburg’s ability to notice and communicate these nuances of sensation presents her viewers with an opportunity for deep reflection on the meaning and metaphor of each image. 

Although many of its photographs have no human figures, I’ve Been Walking expresses profound humanity, gesturing toward the social and personal resonances of the 2020 shutdown. “I walked photographing what I’ve come to think of as a kind of fullness— an enlargement of the senses that can be found in the midst of emptiness,” Sternburg says. “I do not mean to turn the griefs and losses caused by COVID-19 into artistic gain. I do mean that we are enlarged when we become part of the landscape of all of us.”


Selected Images

Awry . Los Angeles. 2020

Diving Bell . Los Angeles. 2020

Lace Flag . Los Angeles. 2020

Leap . Los Angeles. 2020

Lone . Los Angeles. 2020

Openings . Los Angeles. 2020

Sunrise Gutter . Los Angeles. 2020

(A)spire . Los Angeles. 2020



“I first knew that you and I were on a similar wavelength when I saw that Wim Wenders had written about on your work...I think there’s something about what Wenders does, how he identifies discrete things, each packed with resonating forces, that you also do with your photographs.”

– from conversation with Jane Bennett in I’ve Been Walking



ISBN-10 ‏: ‎ 3954763842

Publication : September, 2021

Available wherever books are sold