This series examines the decline of rural communities that has occurred in many parts of the United States. Many economists, sociologists, political scientists have long suggested the existence of a second America, and a recent book by MIT economist Peter Temin (The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy) argues that the middle class is vanishing and America is becoming more of a developing country instead of a developed country.
Using images taken in the states of Colorado and New Mexico, this series of images suggest narratives of change, decline, and abandonment. Looking at this phenomenon at a higher level, somewhat akin to a windshield survey, these images are depictive and observational, and do not attempt to answer why this transformation of the American middle class into two groups has taken place.
Instead, these images document place and provide a glimpse into the surface of an emerging second world where workers earn lower wages, are saddled with debt, and if they are employed, work in industries that offer little of the job security afforded workers in the financial and high technology sectors that account for an increasing share of the benefits of economic growth in an increasingly globalized and technology-driven world.
Ranch House, Mosquero, New Mexico, March 18, 2017
Swing Set, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, April 16, 2016
Street Corner, Willard, New Mexico, April 7, 2018
Massey Company, Tucumcari, New Mexico, December 6, 2014
Restaurant, Tucumcari, New Mexico, December 6, 2014
Alco, Tucumcari, New Mexico, February 18, 2017
White House, Cedarvale, New Mexico, March 2, 2019
Cafe for Sale, Walsenburg, Colorado, April 2, 2016
Vet's Garage, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico, November 12, 2016 Abandoned Motel, Gallup, New Mexico, December 5, 2015