While the debate continues about what infinite-scrolling image aggregation is doing to our cultural landscape, there are still destination sites to which an extraordinary amount of people subscribe where they know they will garner rare insight and context. One such stopping off place is American Suburb X which, since 2008, has archived the “massively relevant oats, dramatically sifting present and rapidly unfolding future” in photographs, and it is quite something.
I love categories. I love that These Americans, an archiving project of American Suburb X, has the ten shots of the last prisoners to leave Alcatraz and a veritable shoebox like set of dance school awkward portraits, nineties pin-ups and polygamist family photos – all falling under the broad and unfailingly fascinating genera of things like cars and crime and race and riots. The latter is a brilliant example and celebration of photography’s power to flatten time by holding up disparately chronological events next to each other.
That we might read into a Gatsby-esque holiday in snapshots one moment and the LA Riots the next is the site’s genius, offered up with such curatorial respect is an inspiration and an education and, I hope you’ll agree, utterly invaluable. Enjoy!
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