On the bed of a tractor trailer on I 91 heading north towards Hartford are two loads in series of some abstract masses piled in multiple and strapped tautly by thick black straps. From the rear seat of my brother’s beat-up Subaru I turn my camera out the window and release the shutter, feeling the light rain come in through the window. I think, perhaps now I have started a collection, having photographed a mass wrapped tight in white plastic wrap on some other truck bed a week or so earlier, and I say to myself, I do not want to be one of those photographers who collects things, Joel Meyerowitz and elsewhere Garry Winogrand (among others) talk about this. And all the while in the back of my mind echoes the remark of Lewis Baltz, that “You don’t know whether they’re manufacturing pantyhose or megadeath.”
The word snowclone was coined in 2004 and has been defined (see Wikipedia) as “a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different variants” as a catch structure, so to speak. Common examples include “grey is the new black” becoming “x is the new y,” and likewise the abstraction into catch structures of “To be or not to be,” “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV,” and “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
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Greenpoint, Brooklyn; New York, New York; Massachusetts Turnpike, Massachusetts; Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Bainbridge, New York; Cincinnati, Ohio; Palo Alto, California.