A creative young man on a mission, that's Josh Hailey. Since I supported his successful Kickstarter campaign, I've been patiently awaiting arrival of Josh in Portland. He got to the city on Sunday. Serendipitously, I had taken a vacation day on Monday, so we got together for brunch at my favorite breakfast spot, the Bijou Cafe, downtown on the corner of SW 3rd and SW Pine. Here Josh is talking with my favorite person at the cafe--Eve. Mama and I met her on our first visit there in July, 2004.
After enjoying talking and eating and laughing, we both fed the meter (Josh has a van he's driving across the county, I had a Zipcar for the day so I could do errands), and then Josh interviewed me! More photos coming!
Here's what I found about his Photamerica tour, online:
50 states in 50 weeks: A unique interpretation of modern America, by Jessica Festa
What does it mean to be an American in modern times? That is the question propelling Josh Hailey forward on a mission to visit 50 states in 50 weeks and capture modern America in a visual way. The final project from the road trip will be a 100-page photography book.
The project will go further than photography, however, as Hailey plans to conduct interviews and shoot video footage, as well. He says, "I want to understand what people feel about America and what it means to be an American in modern times. Asking a series of open questions, people's answers will be documented on camera and compiled as a film that will be both aesthetic and thought provoking and will hopefully capture a wider picture of America in 2012."
To follow the journey, view photographic artwork, host Hailey with accommodation, leave feedback and comments, or donate money towards fuel, visit his website, Photamerica. (http://photamerica.com/)
And here's what I had read, written by Josh, at his Kickstarter campaign:
ABOUT THIS PROJECT PHOTAMERICA: 50 States in 50 weeks: a unique interpretation of modern America.
This project was born out of a very long road trip that saw me drive cross country twice in a matter of months. An avid photographer, naturally I captured the weird and wonderful beauty of my journey, absorbing the culture of every individual state and enjoying the random conversations I’ve had with Americans along the way. It dawned on me that this experience is one I could build on and share!
In 2012 I intend to do it properly. This time with two goals in mind:
- I want to capture modern America, visually. State by state, place by place, person by person and represent this all in a photography book to be completed and published 2013.
- I want to understand what people feel about America and what it means to be an American in modern times. Asking a series of open questions, people's answers will be documented on camera and compiled as a film that will be both asthetic and thought provoking and will hopefully capture a wider picture of America in 2012.
I’ve estimated a week in each state, give or take a few days and am asking you to follow my journey and take part in steering my course on our website www.photamerica.com. This website will be all encompassing in that you can see day by day where we go, the artwork we are making, and take part in hosting us or helping us find things of interest to photograph.
This will be a unique and interactive site where you can leave comments on places of interest for me to see and also get first glimpses of the artwork I’ll be creating with the images from the road.
The book, estimated publishing 2013, will be a large and thorough interpretation of each state in many different camera mediums from digital, to cell phone images, to film.
In terms of the documentary film, this will be observational in nature. It has always amazed me how different and diverse America is, and the contrasts and conflicts that are present within each state, let alone across the entire country. I’m hoping this will be an insight into the intimate perspectives of the people I come across. I intend to sit down with 3 to 4 subjects in each state from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, to ask a question about how people feel in these modern times, and especially in America.
Whilst I am an artist and photographer, I am wanting to make this project as legitimate and as well researched as possible, and have currently been speaking with numerous esteemed academics and professionals who have assisted me in gaining a better understanding and perspective on how to go about this and move forward my approach.
I am budgeting this trip solely on the gas to make it around America. I have good friends and couch surfers in most States and hopefully can find a place to stay with people helping host on the website. At the present the current gas pricing is upwards of 20,000 dollars to get enough gas to go to all of the states I intend to. This is about far more than a substantial amount of gas money, it is about being part of the wider journey and ultimately about being part of a moment in time.
Whether you’re a fellow artist/ photographer, a road trip enthusiast or just a curious American/ non American, this project has huge potential to be an informative, interesting and beautiful piece of art that will depict a raw, honest and insightful picture of modern America! Get involved! Please visit http://.photamerica.com/ to see more! and watch the incentives video below to see what art you can score for helping make photamerica a reality! thanks so much. Josh