27 June 2008

Before & After

Higley Hot Dogs, 2005 © Andrew Phelps

From the series Oblivion (2004-2006) © David Maisel

At lensculture there are items on projects by Andrew Phelps and David Maisel that form a nice (I presume intended) complement. Phelps offers "The Last Days of Higley" a photo essay on the small Arizona town where his grandparents' had lived as it is swallowed up by urban sprawl (Phoenix). Maisel offers "Oblivion: Los Angeles from the Air" which is just what the title portends. Both projects are provocative - a sort of Before & After on seemingly irresistible 'advance' of urbanization. That said, while we may lament both the loss of before and the arrival of after, it seems important to me not to romanticize the former nor demonize the latter.

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Blogger robby said...

Oh, I disagree. The advance of urbanization may be inevitable, but the suburban sprawl isn't. Suburban sprawl is a result of poor planning, a disregard for community, and the overwhelming influence of car culture on how we build our neighborhoods. In the Maisal image, I'm sure there isn't one walkable or bike-able school, corner store or community center. It's more than an issue of energy. I suggest you read Suburban Nation by Andres Duany.

27 June, 2008 23:32  

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