The notions of pioneering fresh frontiers, or pursing opportunity and progressing bigger and better have long been engraved into American history. However, the destructive nature of conventional progress, fueled by consumerism and big box development, has led to a landscape littered with isolation and neglect. The “superhighways” and “superior communities” that were built, created with the intention to supply fast and convenient access to people, goods, services, and other landscapes have failed us, stripping the American continent of its personality and distinct sense of place.
‘Detour’ is a study of the American landscape along back roads and routes, paths that would ordinarily serve as diversion routes for mainstream traffic and travel. These “detours” connect unconventional habitats, communities viewed as deficient by contemporary standards. These photographs are not about communities that have been blighted and isolated by progress, though many of them are, but about the resilience of the human spirit to survive and adapt in the face of misfortune and ruin. They are portraits of hope, survival, and resourcefulness in a time of severe economic despair.
Though these photographs are void of people, they are essentially about people and the imprint humans leave on their surrounding environments. If human presence were absent, what story would our lives tell? What impression would we leave? What information would be gathered about our existence? More importantly, would we be proud?