The State of Travel

A Photo and Interview Archive of Non-Places in the American West

The State of Travel is a portrait and oral narrative project that explores how identity and imaginary are embedded in everyday practices of travel. It's origins are in San Francisco and vicinity during the Autumn of 2010 when I began going to rest stops, creating portraits of visitors, and recording the answers to three questions:

What are you leaving behind?

What are you bringing with you?

What do you anticipate? 

This experience formed the backbone of the project which took me from California to Texas during 2011. Seen here are select images from the project with a bit of theoretical framing by Marc Auge. In a way, I think of this project as being not only inspired by Auge and his reflections on non-space but an attempt to better understand who we are when we are outside the places that contribute to our own identities.

Waiting to go, in places designated specifically for this purpose, constitutes a significant part of everyday life. The places in-between provide a locale of shared human experience in the 21st century. This particular restructuring of the world by what Marc Auge calls ‘non-space’ results in different forms of awareness. The way we think about space is significant. It inflects our understandings of the world, our attitudes towards others, and our politics. It informs the way we understand globalization, the way we develop, and practice, a sense of place. If time is as Doreen Massey has found “the dimension of change then space is the dimension of the social: the contemporaneous co-existence of others.”