Photographs by Martin Hayers and Will Mebane.
136 pp., illustrated throughout, 11x9".
Between 2004 and 2007, American photographers Martin Hyers and Will Mebane made a series of road trips through the American South, West and East to create a photographic archive of objects. The project, titled Empire, yielded more than 9,000 photographs captured in 25 states. Using two hand-held 4 x 5 view cameras, Hyers and Mebane ventured out into public places, met strangers and accompanied them back to their homes, offices and factories to photograph. Working in a deliberately forensic fashion, they photographed the objects they encountered-stoves, family photographs, computers, trophies and the like. Many of the objects included in their project are discomfiting because of their impending obsolescence: an overhead projector rests on a table, a typewriter sits on a desk, a set of encyclopedias waits well-organized on a yellow bookshelf.