Only Up

Only Up
Where My Vans Go #97 by DrifterShoots

When DrifterShoots returned to his home in the United States after military duty, he didn't realise another battle was about to begin. His origin story as an artist is intertwined with the discovery that photography at dizzying heights provided a momentary reprieve from the stresses of serving as a Special Forces soldier. However, the thrill of those experienced moments then shared on socials, also alerted authorities that something was up.

DrifterShoots wasn't the first to discover photography at heights attracted an audience. I first stumbled across the Instagram account of Raskalov climbing up unfinished buildings in Shanghai in 2016 and realised that these fresh views could bring a stunning perspective to humanities capability to create.

However the authorities wanted to shutdown DrifterShoots climbing adventures despite their therapeutic value just in case there was more to it. Fair enough you might say, however why was DrifterShoots the one to be up on charges that would see his future surrounded with bars not sky?

The New York Times covered the story early June 2021, bringing the voice of the people to the table. A Snowy Day On The Queensborough Bridge made the front page, and perhaps more importantly... it had been minted as an NFT a little over a month early, attracting awestruck feels that our NFT community could participate in. A community that could support was forming.

On The Edge of the World, A Night Amongst The Stars, Staring In Infinity's Eyes, First Breath After Coma and Above The Noise were minted out of thin air. We love the images, yet those artwork titles are their own protest signs.

Where My Vans Go

The collection 'Where My Vans Go' took the concept and serialised it for the enraptured NFT Twitter community. Tell me how you feel looking down at Where My Vans Go #06.

Where My Vans Go #06 by DrifterShoots

Armed with a camera and immunity from vertigo, he introduced digital art collectors to the views and to the DrifterShoots story. Fighting for justice is's isolating and can feel drainingly futile at times as the system streamrolls any pleas made outside of the judicial rule book. Fortunately, Drifter had supporters...and those supporters had eth.

"Like We Always Dreamed It Would Be" is the description of Where My Vans Go #28 acquired by uber collector Punk6529 in the afterglow of JPEG summer on September 17th 2021.

Where My Vans Go #28 by DrifterShoots

Each acquisition fuelling the funds needed to fight the case for the most basic of rights for DrifterShoots... to be free to create art.

"I hope you will feel every step and heartbeat, I hope you will rise above fears with me. If this journey has taught me anything it is that everything is about our struggle and process, if you never climb, you never see the view. This is the climb. In snow and fog, sunshine and rain, from the tops of skyscrapers and bridges and through incarceration, here I learned to do whatever it takes. These are the shoes that made me. Welcome." says Drifter Shoots.

Three years of art captured at the height of his healing journey was now introducing the world to America's built environment beauty and also asking a question of its justice system. How do you treat those who serve your country on their return? Compassion or contempt?

Vibe Check

"Can I get a vibe check real quick?" Sure Drifter...sure you can. The replies are the story here.

"I now need your email so I can send you an invoice to clean up the sick from my carpet after watching that." Greg Whitton.
"Spider man at it againnnn." Isabel Malia.
"Do your palms sweat when you do this shit bc mine are just watching." Steph Rapo.
"gm vibe check passed." Kaleb Johnston.
"This video makes me severely uncomfortable." Lee R.

None of us, almost none of could do what DrifterShoots has done. In some ways, it's the most clear communication of what war must feel like. If climbing brings peace for his inner soul, it makes us all feel for those who are in the middle of their own battle.

DrifterShoots has taken us all on a journey with many layers. Our cities, our freedom and our sense of justice is all represented through the images he shoots.

Do we ever get to see DrifterShoots himself? For the next 24 hours, yes...thanks to Tom Durante's shot 'Shining in the Mist' and an army of artists and collectors who have supported DrifterShoots mission for freedom.

Shining in the Mist by Tom Durante

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