Insomnia: Lost San Jose Nights

For almost a decade now, Josh Marcotte, a local photographer and writer, has wandered San Jose taking photographs of empty streets, abandoned buildings, vacant store fronts, and graffiti-stained underpasses, and mostly at night. His photo project, “Lost San Jose,” captures every possible depiction of forgotten infrastructure he can find in a city he drifts through endlessly. He describes his work as, “insomnia trespassing and a camera.

A history major from San Jose State University, and a fourth generation San Jose resident, Marcotte’s sense of Lost San Jose came from stories told to him by his grandfather, a self proclaimed local historian. These stories followed him as college brought late night jobs and no car forced him to walk the dark streets of the city to get home. Inspired by these nights and stories, Lost San Jose initially started as a writing project, but Marcotte taught himself photography and began documenting what he saw with images as well.

“I try to show the soul and the character of the places and things I see in San Jose and the places I travel. Buildings and cars and signs are designed and born. They absorb life and a soul from the people that worked or lived or shopped around them. When they become empty they start to die and the decay spreads like cancer.  I try to portray their soul one last time in my photos.”

Marcotte’s work can be viewed November, 5 – 26 at Kaleid Gallery. For more information on the show visit South First Fridays.

For more information on the photographer or to see more photos, visit

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