PARKLIFE :: 2009 - Ongoing
For some years I have been spending more of my leisure time visiting and documenting federal and state park and forest land, places in America where the public is allowed and encouraged to visit the ‘wilderness’. Since my family never really went on the traditional cross-country car trip when I was a kid, I’ve been making various journeys to some of the places I missed; the places, near and far, that I used to spot in my father’s tattered road atlas. As an adult, my nostalgic interest in exploring parks and forests has evolved into a fascination with the quirky way that Americans vacation in nature. The parks, which obviously set aside dramatic natural wonders for our enjoyment, also generally include modern conveniences like benches for rest, restrooms, concession stands, campgrounds, marinas, and hotels. While there as visitors, we walk along specially marked paths through the wilderness and snap photos from designated vista points. Life in public parks is a curious arrangement of government workers, generic signage, busy parking lots, sunburned kids, and frustrated parents. As I’ve been participating in this rite of American vacationing, I’ve become amused and enamored by how we interact with the wild and the infrastructure we put in place to do so. Parklife aims to capture it in all of its oddity.