2011 - present
Traveling through the United States by car and looking for images is a bit like eavesdropping on a conversation or looking through a stranger’s window. Without stopping to stay in a community for a period of time it is impossible to gain a deep understanding of the issues facing that community. However, it is possible to document the visual clues that offer insight about the state of a place, the concerns of some of the residents and the hopes and sometimes failed dreams of those inhabitants.
Many of the photographs in UNDERCURRENTS are about a particular political moment in time. In Delaware, outside a small town, flags are quietly and anonymously displayed to honor the fallen veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars which began during the first decade of the 21st Century. A North Dakota billboard, Be An American Use Ethanol, refers to supporting government subsidies for corn growers as well as spending US dollars on “American” energy instead of exporting them in exchange for oil from the middle east. In Kansas amidst many miles of flat empty landscape, anti abortion/pro-life signage juts out of the earth lining the east and west lanes of Interstate 70. The words enter a driver’s vision and consciousness, while old oil rigs silently operate in the distance. One universal theme I encounter in every state is patriotism, expressed in different ways, by the use of red, white and blue.
Humans show our presence in our absence and our psychological landscape is influenced by the visual clues around us. I began making this body of work in 2011 when I bought my first digital 35mm camera. I describe the work as “taking the temperature” of the United States.