2.10.2012

racine to reno

zude...

where has?

man.

i mean, whoa.  sarah and i dated long distance style long enough. i moved to reno in september...

the journey began in racine, where the garbage man threw away a sick photo sequence of the eiffel tower that didnt make the "stay in dad's basement" cut, which is the stuff that didnt make the "get crammed into the civic" cut.

the garage served as a summer-long stage of great debates - whats valid?  what lurks?  what is destined for the junk hill?  i was lucky to have that space at my disposal.  i was fully owned several times over by the things i claim to own.  the process of editing meant i moved the mountain four times while it was there.  most people who are 28 have a house full of furniture...  i have a pile of art boxes.

the mound i must return for, minus that school pictures stool of course.

i shut the garage door and that was that.

the tree on 20, and the stick [wisconsin cheese weed, perhaps], along with a board i was giving to cole.  had to stop in madison first...




cole had an epic salad bar spot.  we filled trays and went to the lake.  ate on some rocks as the sun set.

c-ham and shwamm had just moved too.  sweet apartment, furnished with divorce-remnant mission style tables, and 20 guitars.  it was not easy to leave.

a huge feeling of newness.  the unknown rules.

a loose plan.  a destination, the only thing certain.  i would drive until i was tired.  i would stop to look at things.  donuts, coffee, pee stops, guided by stoke and an atlas i got for xmas 4 years ago...



and all in between, smeared across the landscape, the desperate scrawlings, odd marks, and sacred scars of humanity.

iowa

as i passed through iowa along what i would find to be one hell of a beautifully boring highway 80, i patted myself on the back "i picked the best state to drive through in the dark, theres nothing but corn out there anyways."  corn, and a tractor factory.

the photos on this journey were made using color negative in a point'n'shoot, ilford or tri-x black and white film in a pentax slr, and color slidefilm in the mamiya 6x7.  no rush, i got all night.  no agenda...  nature





the best donut i have ever found.  dean jensen gallery agrees.





omaha looked rad, just from the car.  a place i could spend the whole day exploring.  but it was early morning, and the idea of getting an epic jump on the day was irresistible.  a quick loop through downtown and i was back onto 80.



 truck bondage

yeah, can i get a pack of menthol freedoms, and ten gallons of freedom on pump 5?  

i toured a real authentic nebraska crap pile and it was totally free.  free-er than freedom even.

the fact that these spaces exist will always baffle me.  how does it happen?  the shit lot is always a reminder of our haunting past and weighed down future.
 
i try to avoid the unavoidables but am not always successful.

its nothing to stress over though.  theres always a new chance to get organic.

the true beauty of the practice is acutally knowing that its ultimately not even up to me.  every situation has its own set of demands - or at least suggestions.  if i am that sensitive instrument, it is only a matter of openness and willingness to receive the transmission, and respond as directed.  

a good feeling in our collective guts

a filthy kitten walked through the frame as i focused.  shape, color, time.

time, its always time.  never not time.  

you could expire anywhere




number 13 chair.  too small to sit on.  too big to put in the car.

post-apocalyptic still life with golf ball

weird graphic on a barrel

blank generation i-pods

found the first piece for my type tray


really big

the OG craigslist

now approaching lexington, nebraska

the military museum of vehicles...  my inner 8 year old insisted...


the many phalli of death, casually assembled on store shelving.







sobering


up the road a while, i followed signs through gothenburg to one of the original pony express posts...

the wall of the post, and a tree across the street

my corner

terror/shame



found a bunch of skaterat frogs having a pool session.  i remember exactly where this is.

as soon as this became visible on the horizon i declared i was not going to photograph it.  i held steady in that conviction until the last minute when i was washed over with the realization that i am not too cool to shoot a killer overpass that reminded me of the southern oracle from never ending story.

next stop became ogallala nebraska

a cowboy museum

when you go west you follow the footprints of history.  
 [this image on the wall at dean jensen gallery as well]

http://www.deanjensengallery.com/show_PainterPhotographerPrintmaker.php

i guess no ones skating in ogallala

this is the first time i encountered goat heads.  when i walked back to the car i had about 100 of them stuck in my shoes - one thorn in every hole of the waffle.  

i also remember exactly where this is.  by this point in the drive i was really wishing my friends were along.  

waxing romantic

a parting gift from my brother, and inspirational words for any journey.

near the western edge of NE is a town called dix.  its the visual half way point between racine and reno.  i stopped for gas.  i also just stopped to stop.  the light.  a train.  a silo graphic.

 this one was hard to get right.  i tried on all 3 formats.  its just so nice.


through the filth of the windshield

i was finishing a roll of 16mm film on this trip that i began in the summer.  also a few rolls of super8.  i wish i had them processed and transferred so that the documentation of the drive would be comprehensive.  in the coming months i will attack that project - im still uncertain whether ill process it myself or send it away.  there is also a roll of super8 from the trip through arizona i took with sarah in november.  it will be such a rad treat to see those images after so much time has elapsed.  even with film photography, it is still rare for me to go more than a few days between exposure and getting it scanned in [which is how all these images were prepared].  

after nebraska comes wyoming

i wanted to steal this rug, but there were security cameras and i imagined what kind of person a wyoming hwy patrolman would be - thats probably him down there on the horse.  so i focused my efforts on less deviant behavior.  

again, alone in the night with a tripod, and no clock in mind.  this is one of my favorites from the trip.  how many pennies to make this sucker?

'hey babe, just got into the big rectangle.  shot the president, im on the floor.  uh, just wanted to let you know i brushed my teeth but accidentally threw away the toothbrush.  see you in a few days.'

when the gas station is closed you just pee in the weeds.  when the lights are still on and team 'so hot right now' looks good, you just press your lens to the glass and hold your breath.  then you drive again.  short, intermittent segments of non-rolling glory for your legs, bladder and mind. 



surveys, stories, snakes biting at your balls when you shit on the pebbles...  wyoming


ran out of gas, had to decide between freedom and gas.  paid for the gas, stole the freedom.

1 of 20 roids i shot on the drive.  i saved the last box or 2 for reno.  you cant afford to get gnarly with polaroids anymore - you gotta play it safe.  this is a safe polaroid.  i dont know what thats worth.

an old fireworks stand...

sad tarps of the world, forever


i sold this sign on etsy for 850 dollars




this is totally unrelated, but it bothers me that people hate their hometown, or wherever they are.  maybe its the curse of skateboarding or art or just the diy spirit in general, but i think a person only has themselves to blame - unless you really do live in a field somewhere...  the idea seems to blossom most during highschool when you feel trapped by homework, parents, and impending jobs/life decisions...  but when people cant grow out of it and continue to go on complaining about where they live...  thats weak.  

in my book, anything new is good.  theres a lot of shit out there.  and what seems good is relative.  i think what im trying to say is if something sucks do something about it, dont just let yourself suffer.  but dont write another song about moving to california where the streets are paved with your wet dreams.  


i got a stiff upper lip and i shoot from the civ

...on the chode again...

...my country tis of thee, sweet land of i cant keep it in my pants...


the 13s, steadily getting weirder

an eagle that shits glass bottles

across from this sign was a gas station, where i purchased six rolls of 35mm 'freedom film' that expired in 2006.  the girl at the counter would not give me a discount on her no longer relevant or vital merchandise.

 
at the gift shop of a huge truck stop in little america, wyoming.  you can get all kinds of ice cream and hot dogs, shot glasses, cheese, and deep fried eagle turds.

robert frank shot the people.  i like to shoot what the people have done.


boss of the plains

an uncommon place, rendered in all its glory across that holy celluloid - gods film - freedom film

wyoming is full of bumpkins, seriously.  they still have these old carved information deliverers - i think its called a sine?  all the rest stops ive been to in california and new york have flatscreens, free wifi and i-docks.  i was so bored, i was forced to feed these groundchucks pretzels...

the tourists hate our freedom

or something like that

this ones out of focus cause i had a groundchuck trying to sneak into my pants

 evanston, wy

by this point on the map, i was getting really good at driving.  like, super good.  eric risser, a man who has made the cross-country drive before, offered me this advice prior to leaving:  "never stop steering."

i got into utah at some point.  the part 80 goes through is half as wide as wyoming, so i knew i could get to nevada by dark.

had to get some oreos after this photo




i shoot for perfect.  this is as close as i can get without a tripod.  9/10 in my book.


from your grandpas negs


says the scofflaw
in the midst of life we are in debt 
etc

be that as it may, 

like an ass, i...
-touched a cactus
-took one of those stupid feet pictures that everyone else will hate to look at























salt flats bertleman, final frame of b+w

the only alien i saw that night

i came to the far edge of utah, in a town called wendover, which is split by the state line.  west wendover is in nevada and has all the casinos.  my dad gave me 60 bucks and insisted i get at least one good nights sleep.  i found a 25 dollar room in wendover, where all the sketchy motels were...

i promise, there are apple dippers in that mickey-d's bag.  and probably some fries.

when you get used to sleeping on a balled up sweatshirt, 4 pillows feels a little excessive.



the state line, right in the middle of town







top 5 of the trip

some stuff from elko, nv...








elko art museum



looking at this, i realize that essentially what has happened is i drove across the country into elko nevada, creeped through alleys, and took a picture of a shitty fence.  thats what im doing with my life.  thats what makes me happy.  

contemporary glyphs...

hamburger myths...

when i got to battle mountain, i filled up - i was told if i did not do this, i would probably run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and be totally fucked.  

a small town where little kids ran around with no shoes, the hotels all skipped room 13 [in some cases posted a 31], and where all forms of earthly sediment fought for control of any neglected surface.



when dugan would be trying to decide what to do about a girl, jonah would assure him "youre jordan with the ball..."  when i find shit like this its kind of the same thing, at least it feels like that in my head. 

the gas tally, minus one last top-off before the destination.  do the math - thats why i have a civic.

i got a coffee.  there was a girl in line and these 2 overzealous teenage dudes were fully harassing her as she ordered.  it was comical.  then she left and they turned their attention on me.  i had to tell them to chill out for a second so i could actually communicate with the person making the drink.  after they drilled me with a rapidfire succession of questions i asked them about what they do.  they said they play guitar and skateboard.  they told me about a park but insisted i photograph them and put it in the paper before they give me directions to the park...


the guys with the hats were the perps from the coffee place.  what a crew.

whenever i hear about a park the first question i ask is 'whats it made of?'

so much for battle mountain.


is skatewave ever the right choice?  sadly im familiar with this junk.  its interesting to see how the different climate affects it.  as other parks would soon prove, concrete is the best bet in the west.

stoked

a few photos i wish i had...
-shot of rear wheel before and after the trip - the car was sagging so low, id hit bumps and the tire would rub against the wheel well.
-interior of car with fisheye, showing full mess of travel
-pile of all coffee related beverage containers at the end of journey

i kept meaning to screw that mirror back on but i must have left it in racine. 

i stopped in winnemucca

sometimes the blind shots to clear the start of a new roll turn out kind of nice

the intentional frames that follow make up for lack of excitement and risk with sound compositions.  rarely can you have it all.  im no master.

  but my eyes and mind are open, and im always trying to do something about it.  this is just scratching the surface - theres so much out there.



after winnemucca came lovelock...

funny things you stumble on when you poke around a town for five minutes

american skatepark

interesting concept, not easy to skate, really slippery

this dude went over the bars of his mini bike, sacked the tire, and hit his face on the ground.  his mouth was full of blood and he was crying.  2 minutes later he was going for it again, laughing maniacally.  they asked me to do 360 flips so i showed them weedwackers and third legs - a move we all got from russ grothus in highschool.  they were really stoked on that one and i spent a good 15 minutes trying to teach them how it works.  they also demanded to be photographed.  none of them had seen film cameras before.


cast crew

later dudes.  damn im old.



the word 'real' is an extremely relative term.  this doesnt seem real.  better than the real ive been knowing.

i thought i saw something from the road...


took me a bit to find what i was looking for...

false alarm.  even if it was smooth, that thing would be dangerous.

the nevada pita chip seemed cool at first, but then i realized any rectangle missing a corner is a nevada.

human

just past the big quasar...

exit 13 onto virginia st, the original artery through town peppered with casinos, adult stores, tattoo parlors, and wandering people of all sorts.

forward!