There are people who watch football. There are others who go fishing. These people go out to watch airplanes. Admiration for aviation has been around ever since the first flying machines took to the air. While many kids of the second half of the 20th century remember a weekend ritual of being taken by their parents to the neighbourhood of an airport to watch air planes, today plane spotting is a complex phenomenon, composed of numerous wheres, whys, whens, whats, hows and wows. Some airports have observation areas, elevated decks, spaces for people to watch planes, that allow aviation enthusiasts to get close enough to be able to see the pilots in the cockpit, hear the roar of the jet engines. People come to A-SPOTs to take pictures, take notes of tailnumbers of planes, combine the thrill of aviation view and sound with sports activities, meals or drinks, education of children, romance or even therapy. Inevitably, people come here to say goodbye to their close ones and to watch their air planes take off, while others contemplate airliners land and take-off in attempt to overcome homesickness. For a true aviation geek, coming to a spotting area can be but a small part of a pilgrimage to the next place of adventure, outside a different airport, abroad or even on a different continent. “A-spot” pictures were taken in and around airports of Auckland (New Zealand); Europe: Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Paris, Riga, Toulouse, Vilnius, Warsaw, Zurich; Unites States: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and, of course, on Maho beach of the Island of St Maarten. “A-spot”, started in 2015, is the second part of the travel'AIR project by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, exploring the man's relationship to passenger aviation.
Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (b. 1974 in Kaunas) is a Lithuanian photographer and art director living in Kaunas. He is a member of Lithuanian Photographers association since 1993. From 1989 to 1992 he was studying at Kaunas School of Photo Art. He obtained Bachelor’s (1996) and Master’s (2000) Degrees in Art History at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas. 1997-1998 he was studying at the National School of Photography, Arles, France; ENSB-A Paris in 1998, while 2000–2001 academic year he spent at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, simultaneously interning at the Musée de l’Elysée. His interest in documentary photography lead him to create his signature work “Portrait of Kražiai” (2001-2003), which was widely exhibited in Europe and beyond. After founding KAUNAS PHOTO festival (2004), less time for personal creation was left. While frequently flying to and from exhibitions, festivals and portfolio reviews in Europe and beyond its borders, he discovered that a camera could be used to depict the human condition in airports, airliners and around them. This is how the idea of the “travel’AIR” project was born.