Pennsylvania, I 80 December 4:20 PM - 4:39 PM
“What pricks me is the discovery of this equivalence. In front of the photograph of my mother as a child, I tell myself: She is going to die: I shudder… over a catastrophe which has already occurred. Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe.”
--Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida
These photographs are obliquely documentary in that they capture how the human experience of the pastoral has been radically transformed over the last century by mechanized transit. For many of us now the idea of landscape is largely synonymous with vistas glimpsed through dirty windows while traveling at a high rate of speed, which is exactly how these images were made, while I was in transit between two cities. The landscape unfurling before me at a pace radically faster than the body's natural velocity was little more than merely what was between, and yet the faster I went the more the camera struggled to capture what I was seeing. It was at the exact point that the camera could no longer function "properly" that the the photographs lost all documentary feeling and took on the quality of drawings, becoming gestural transcriptions of the seen world morphing into memory. Though they do not explicitly reveal the increasingly catastrophic consequences of the anthropocene they do represent something of a lament for what has been lost, a nostalgia for an experience of the planet as the human body has evolved through the epochs to perceive it. Each of these series represents a specific span of highway on a particular journey, and each is indicated by the highway, state, season, and time of day.