I went to find out for myself, to see for myself and make up my own mind. (I didn’t go to Disneyland)
Everything was familiar, like meeting a cousin for the first time after hearing about them and seeing movies/photographs of them all your life. Everything was also very unfamiliar: the cousin turned out to be infinitely more sophisticated, fascinating and sexier than ever expected.
I carried with me 3 *Understanderscopes and some Kodak film (appropriately). All the photographic apparatus were small, relatively easy to carry and quick to use. I approached the image making in an intuitive way, without trying to interpret or pre-judge the visions and experiences of the journey.
However, “a photograph is only a fragment, and with the passage of time its moorings come unstuck. It drifts into a soft abstract pastness, open to any kind of reading”. (Sontag)
As already stated, 'infinitely fascinating' but also in many ways a sad place; poor, dirty, old and run down. It appears as a culture in decline, tired and without energy, an environmental nightmare with little interest in change and I had the feeling there were sinister conservative forces in the driving seat.
* Understanderscope.© (Macdonald Nichols 2012)
A device (with a lens) that is able to record (using either a CCD array or halide emulsion) a representation
that at some later point in time can be reviewed as a displayed image/s, thus allowing the individual controlling the device to revisit the scene/event/experience and to contemplate and perhaps see a more revealing vision and understanding that may have been unclear or hidden at that time.
Understaderscope #1: Olympus XA 2, Kodak Ektar 100.
Understanderscope #2: Canon G11.
Understanderscope #3: iPhone 5.