In early 2011, I, like many Americans, felt that the USA was going through a disturbing period--the people were polarized, the civil discourse was cynical and angry, the government was dysfunctional and the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession. I felt it was important to document this difficult period in our history, so I began driving throughout the country, taking pictures without a particular goal in mind other than to capture America and Americans as I saw them.
Where The Rubber Meets The Road
Many months and over 40,000 miles later (as of this writing), and counting, I am in the thick of it. “America: E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One)” is a photographic project looking at life in the United States during a difficult time in our history. The project unofficially kicked-off on Independence Day, 2011 in Independence, California and will end Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The latin phrase “e pluribus unum” means “out of many, one,” and has been a de facto motto for the United States since its inception in 1776. In choosing it as the working title for this project, I hope to show the vast geographic, ethnic, and economic diversity of Americans, while never forgetting that out of the many we are still one--each of us an American.
Until this point this entire project has been self-funded--I didn’t want to be influenced by corporate sponsors and I didn’t want to crowd finance without having work to show. I am asking for your help to finish the project. Your donations will go towards accommodations, fuel costs, and general living expenses. I am very passionate about this project and deeply appreciate your generosity towards completing what I hope will be an enduring documentation of a brief moment in America’s history.
A video by Konstantin Adenauer of me shooting in Cologne, Germany and speaking about UNPOSED and Leica cameras.
The team at Digital Silver Imaging, who will produce the silver gelatin prints for the $900 reward: http://www.digitalsilverimaging.com
Choices for $250, $395, $750, $900, $3000 and $5000 rewards:
Images may or may not be in the final edit of America: E Pluribus Unum.
Choices for the $300, $395, $750, and $5000 reward:
Risks and challenges
Frankly, the biggest challenge of this project is simply juggling it with the rest of my life while on the road. Time and repetition over many months, however, have helped me develop an organized routine. As with most photographers, my main source of anxiety is wondering when the next picture will present itself.
Fulfillment of the project is less of a challenge, as the reward prints are chosen from images that already exist. If you make a pledge to the project, what you see is what you will get--there is no danger of a reward not being produced. I will need to come off the road for a week or so to fulfill rewards, but I give my word that you will receive what you pledged for in a timely manner. I have stated that the rewards will be sent in December, and I am fully committed to getting the rewards to people in that time frame--possibly sooner.
Images from this project are going to be exhibited at the Leica Store in Washington, DC during FotoDC in November, where I will also be delivering a lecture on the project. I am also lining up exhibitions for next year and expect to have the work published as a book. With your support and generosity, I will see this project through to its culmination on January 20th, 2013--Inauguration Day.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (37 days)