The Digital Journalist

Maxwell, Nebraska, 1993



On other trips we combed Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Texas for pictures. We were there in Mobile, Alabama for Mardi Gras but took pictures of a back alley tribute to Billy Holiday. We were in Tarpon Springs, Florida for Christmas but I was out shooting Santa decorations on the splendid green Florida lawns that night. We were supposed to be visiting family in Prescott, Arizona but I was shooting buildings in Salome, Arizona because of the perpetual flea markets that exist on the main road in the town. The kids I photographed on a fence there in Salome were just sitting in for the kids I missed photographing when I was working on another job in San Bernadino, California years ago. The common element in all this work is not where it was, not who it was, not even the fact that it all jogged some memory of mine - it is the ensemble look at mid-Twentieth Century America that you feel and breath as you look at this work. The faces of the Americans I photographed are honest faces, the buildings unpretentious. Simple, straight forward people built this country and I wanted to extensively document what it was that they built as well as what the world of their making looked like. I wanted to take an archive of work from the Twentieth Century into the Twenty-First century while I still could. I realized that every picture I took in 1993 was a picture from the last century seven years later. It's kind of like time travel. If I could send myself back from the twenty-first century to photograph my country, I had to do it then, back in the nineties while I still could. It all took more than seven years to complete but the actual time it took to make every picture in this book was less than two seconds. Time is relative! The time between the pictures and all that happened have no consequence for the work. The work started and stopped but my life continued all the while. Photography all adds up to a vision, a feeling - an emotion that I can transmit to others. It's truly a privilege to be a photographer.

Los Angeles
March 2000

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