Truth or Consequences, NM
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© Tim Peterson, all rights reserved worldwide
GMC Sierra 1500 Z-71
Today I launch a new series focusing on the landscape of the automobile in America. How we use them, how we love them, how we customize them, how we keep them running long past their intended useful life, how they have become scenery in our lives, and their total ubiquity. The first images of the series were taken in New Mexico, where a culture much older than that of the rest of the American west still exists. The era of the internal combustion gasoline engine is drawing to a close, but the urban landscapes behind these vehicles will remain, as it was present before anyone with a basic job could afford to maintain car ownership. Gasoline has held on as the fuel of our society and our mobility for a long time while most of the rest of our technology has evolved and advanced significantly. Henry Ford’s Model T got about 30 miles to the gallon in 1908, as do most cars today. Can you imagine the telegraph industry stalling out innovation as the fossil fuel industry has? Would Americans today still tolerate communication by telegraph instead of the internet and mobile phones as we tolerate 30 miles per gallon? This series serves as documentation of a fading 19 century invention, refined in safety and style if not efficiency in the 20th century, replaced in the 21st (I hope) with something better.