Choose Your Own Vacation
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The author describes the evolution of his project from photographing popular travel destinations around the country to a presentation that has viewers select vacation destinations then experience a slide presentation and description of the trip. In his artist statement he declares "In arraying tourist literature from all fifty states, I hope to overwhelm the viewer with the ubiquitous nature of the advertising discourse that has become the overlay to the way we experience every aspect of life. In digitally superimposing the viewer's image over the canned image of their destination, I hope to partially occlude the difference between going and not going. Obviously, you've gone nowhere, but the shock of seeing yourself in a place you've never been will, hopefully, free up a space between the rhetorical language of advertising and tourism and the real, embodied experience of a place that we have as visitors. Marketing and commodification have become such common-place occurrences that we do not even notice them anymore. My goal in this installation is to bring the viewer into dialogue with the otherwise largely hidden workings of the advertising machine."