….the Central Valley is a place not so much rural as it is empty-urban — a thoroughly industrialized farm landscape whose once undulating plains have been tractored into table-top flatness, whose streams have been dammed and whose lakes have been drained. Some farms have become so automated that the tractors are piloted by satellite, and some plots are so vast and monotonous that thousands of pollinating bees die each year because they can’t find their way back to their hives. So much water has been pumped from the aquifers that in places the ground has dropped by fifty feet. Most tellingly, the fields are planted, tended and harvested by migrants brought in by the busload: few make more than $10,000 per year, eight out of ten are undocumented, and hardly any know the names of the farmers in whose fields they work.
Acquaint yourself with Matt Black’s work because it’s very good.
It’s been about a year since Cary posted his first work from Whichita. I’m eagerly awaiting his next update.
A friend pointed me in the direction of George LeChat’s ‘Gray City.’ It’s a work in progress but you can get an idea of where he’s heading in the online book he recently published. It’s quiet work, but I enjoyed more than a few of the photographs.