Nightopia

-- Rainbow in the desert, Salt Lake City. 2002

The sprawling suburban and strip mall architecture of America is our canvas. In this series of images I’ve made an attempt to find a subjective view of this artificial, soul-less, man-made reality choking out nature around me. These manufactured spaces are without originality. These factory-made constructions are the same from sea to shining sea where Indians once lived and buffaloes roamed. Millions of electric bulbs light up this concrete, stucco and wooden reality with it power lines, street lights, franchises, churches, banks, bars, ...

This is a wasteland of man’s imagination repeating over and over. Underneath all this artifice is the reality of individual’s need to self-expression.

Meanwhile, jets streak across the sky to unknown destinations in other places where people have other lives. Clouds pass over the empty sidewalks. Oil from the other side of the world powers a million pistons in the SUVs, and compact cars and station wagons that whiz past the grass and the leaves.

I speed down the highways of the places Walt Whitman wrote about. I am searching for the beauty of America and our transcendental qualities in strip malls, suburbs, parking lots, highways, airports, exurbia and anywhere else I find myself. I am searching here, there and everywhere for Walt Whitman’s ghost.