A New American Picture.
Photographs by Doug Rickard.
Aperture, 2012. 144 pp., 90 color illustrations, 12½x9¾".
Doug Rickard's A New American Picture offers a startling and fresh perspective on American street photography. While at first glance the work looks reassuringly familiar and well within the traditional bounds of the genre, Rickard’s methodology is anything but conventional. all of the images are appropriated from google Street view; over a period of two years, Rickard took advantage of the technology platform’s comprehensive image archive to virtually drive the unseen and overlooked roads of America—bleak places that are forgotten, economically devastated and abandoned. With an informed and careful eye, Rickard finds and decodes these previously photographed scenes of urban and rural decay. He rephotographs the machine-made images as they appear on his computer screen, framing and freeing them from their technological origins. as Geoff Dyer has commented on the work, “It was William Eggleston who coined the phrase ‘photographing democratically,’ but Rickard has used google’s indiscriminate omniscience to radically extend this enterprise—technologically, politically and aesthetically.” a limited-edition monograph of A New American Picture was published by White press/Schaden in 2010; upon publication, it was named a best book of that year by Photo-Eye magazine, and quickly went out of print. this edition brings Rickard's provocative series, including more than 30 new images, to a wider audience.
View the video presentation by Erin Azouz on photo-eye Blog.
Read Karen Jenkins' review of A New American Picture on photo-eye Blog.