Monday, June 04, 2007

Breeze, Illinois 1992

Long ago I started referring to my images in this genre as "social landscapes" mostly because I didn't know what else to call them. I still sort of think of them in that context. I could call them "man-scapes" but I guess some folks would be critical of no actual people in the images. "Social" implies man, and "landscape" implies a view of the land. It's sorta' like a landscape cluttered by man Whatever. But what continues to interest me most is how people put "stuff" out there intentionally or unintentionally to represent who and what they are....and sometimes what they are not. When I found this tavern it was the loop of beer from bottle to mug that got my attention, but it wasn't until I later printed the image that I became consciously aware of all the symbols of "manly" king, stag, barron, ram, etc. My subconscious is pretty good at this pitchertakin'.


Ryan Arruda said...

Hey Frank,

I love the notion of the social landscape. Especially with your photos of the footprints mankind leaves on the physical environment, I feel like the images capture the contemporary "curiosity cabinets" of our society.

Within a collapsing, ever-shrinking world, it feels as if there's less of the geographically exotic, unknown, or truly undiscovered to wonder about.

However, through the social landscape, looking inward on our own social quirks and ephemeral physical relics provides both a new manifestation of "curiosities" as well as a form of contemporary anthropology.

It's almost a bit scary...with digital technology and the easily reproducible/transmitted nature of it, we have a more quickly assembled view of our own society than ever landscapes essentially allow us a more immediate form of archeology, all while we're still living out the same story we're investigating.

Awesome. Awesome. Please keep posting more images, I love em!

Hope your spring is going well!


pitchertaker said...


You got to quit saying all these good things about my work. It making me blush. But you did peg it. It's all about cultural artifact, it visual anthropology.


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