I got a grant to do my cross-country trip! The scope has changed a bit since I first brought it up here, and I’m sure it will continue to change and evolve even after I shut the car door on New York. Here is part of the proposal I wrote:
My personal work has almost always been about place… as I was growing up, each year the moment school was out my mom would pack up the car and the two of us would drive across the country to visit my grandmother in the Pacific Northwest for most of the summer. Some years we took the northern route across North Dakota, sometimes the southern route through Texas. We would make regular detours to visit military friends stationed in Kansas or Arizona. We had a favorite Mexican restaurant in Las Cruces, New Mexico and a favorite diner in Gary, Indiana. These places became as familiar to us after several annual visits as my favorite neighborhood haunts are to me now. I felt that I was from everywhere and nowhere – my home was America; it’s great landscapes and familiar highways were like my backyard and town streets… These journeys have informed my photography more than any other experiences in my life.
I am proposing to spend 4-6 weeks traveling to different locations across the country to photograph for two distinct but related working projects:
– Photographing the changing landscape along route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles… an exploration of the unique regional architecture: The sign graveyard outside of Las Vegas, Cadillac Ranch and other eclectic roadside attractions, known and yet to be discovered. This is a continuation of my ongoing work and forms a thematic backdrop for the second, more personal project.
– Photographing the houses my family occupied during our military life. These images, along with the memories and history that these places evoke would describe a uniquely American family history.