What I like about The New Colonists is the way in which it interweaves two separate yet conceptually intertwined bodies of work. The first presents photographs of Mars, Pennsylvania. They depict life in a small rural American town — a high school football game, the local pizza shop, the county fair, etc. Sequenced from dusk into night into day and theatrically lit, the photos eerily seem to portray life on the edge of dramatic change. Inserted throughout are gatefolds depicting scientists who are working on sending man to Mars. The juxtaposition of the two questions how they should and will coexist in the future. An additional layer to the book is a downloadable app designed to be used to discover embedded footage and sound within the book. And, as a bonus, the book comes packaged in an astronaut approved mylar pouch!
John Jenkins is the founder of DECODE BOOKS, a publishing house based in Seattle, producing books on photography and contemporary art. www.decodebooks.com