America

At 3.7 million square miles, the USA is the third largest land area in the world. The country varies tremendously from state to state in terms of its geography, climate, people, politics, and history.

The photographs in this section were made predominantly within California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Washington. They are an account, a mark of respect for locations - often spectacular, sometimes unexceptional - that I have encountered on my travels.

The enormous scale of the canyons and deserts seem best articulated in a panoramic form, and, as in Bryce Canyon, Utah, are made all the more seductive by recent developments in software technology. More discreet locations and ordinary views are equally capable of surprises, as with ‘Grotto, Escalante River, Utah,” where the uncanny is revealed in dappled light.

In discussing the canyons and deserts of America, Jean Baudrillard describes the conditions that make these landscapes so compelling:

“Among this gigantic heap of signs – purely geological in essence – man will have had no significance. The Indians alone perhaps interpreted them – a few of them. And yet they are signs….all alive with a magical presence.’ He later continues, ‘The desert is a natural extension of the inner silence of the body. If humanity’s language, technology, and buildings are an extension of its constructive faculties, the desert alone is an extension of its capacity for absence, the ideal schema of humanity’s disappearance.” ‘America’ (Verso 1998)