“Both before leaving California for New York in 1974 and after returning the next year, I planned and photographed a number of smaller sequential projects, often involving some sort of staging, either deadpan or comic. These were never printed. The works fall between my works from the earlier 70s, such as Aerospace Folktales and projects from the late 70s, such as School Is a Factory.
I remember being especially annoyed by the position taken by the 1975 exhibition New Topographics at George Eastman House in Rochester, even though I liked the work of many of the included photographers. Even though the landscape was shown to be humanly transformed, often in absurd ways, there was no strong sense of human or social agency. By 1976, I was joking that this was the ?neutron bomb? school of photography: killing people but leaving real estate standing.
So what I was experimenting with as an alternative was a way of suggesting that social topography was inevitably the site of strife, class war, land-grabs, ethnic-cleansing, repression and empire. This is especially true in California, where the bones of the first inhabitants crunch underfoot with every step.”
Allan Sekula, Translation and Completion, 2011