From the Middle of Nowhere

This is before it was loud. Before the highway brought the tire whine and the rumble strip growl.

The stillness of the landscape around my hometown of Waterville, Ohio was the foundation for all my memories of home. The new Route 24 bypass threatened to end that stillness. In response, I made photographs of the surrounding area to capture pieces of what I felt make up the essence of the rural Midwestern experience.

The new highway would be 300 feet wide with low access, cutting off some country roads and forcing others into the air with overpasses on top of the new dominant descriptor of the landscape. I reacted by starting a record of the nature of this place: immense, slow, quiet.

Many places are suffering a similar reality—the success of an area can be its own undoing. I made these photographs as a way to remember what can be lost or degraded by our need for efficiency and to live in desirable places. There is no anger or resentment in these pictures, only love and melancholy.