Only looking at Journal entries about America
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Leave New York. Leave London. Leave your computer in the woods. Leave your friends behind. Leave your fears under the bed. Set off on the road to Indianapolis. Walk its streets. Find its gargoyles. Listen to the late night static. Stand on the corner and dream and yell. Know that we are listening.The Bureau (2013)

Invited to Indianapolis for We Are City’s residency program, The Bureau of Manufactured History is a collaboration between James A. Reeves and Oliver Blank. Inspired by the methodologies of Surrealism and the madness of Dada, the Bureau of Manufactured History works to uncover the unconscious content of the city. As our lives and neighborhoods become increasingly hyper-planned sites for commerce, the need for unpredictability, mystery, and romance becomes more urgent.

Taking place in Indianapolis, March through May 2013, the Bureau disseminated a series of instructional cards for the modern flâneur, produced a selection of essays containing myths and mistruths about Indianapolis, and finally constructed an installation entitled, The Former Desk of the First Office of the Bureau of Manufactured History.

Using audio transmissions, written word, mysterious telephone calls, and a performance-based installation that brought city residents inside the Bureau, Reeves and Blank conjured a chaotic, vivid, and wide-angle portrait of the American city.

The Bureau’s installation is currently on display at various locations – both public and private – throughout the city of Indianapolis. The essays, originally produced by James A. Reeves, alongside select photography from the installation, will be released in a forthcoming book during Autumn 2013.

Visit the project site: www.bureauofmanufacturedhistory.com

All about &

Somewhere between Louisiana and Texas, we’re heading west along the coast to Houston. The landscape is greens and browns, houses on stilts and distant offshore rigs.

We’re well below deck now, in the engine room of America. Passing through a town called Cameron. This is oil country. This is where the energy comes from. It stinks.

The flames off the coast come from oil refineries. The smell they make fills our rental truck, pinches my nose and pokes my eyes.

The romance of dusty American roads is burnt up in the refining process and we’re tired. We find a motel, nestled between an artfully lit industrial plant and an artfully lit Capitol One Bank.

The people living here give up so much. Fresh, clean air. Unobscured natural beauty. The rig workers get sick, the families get sick too. I wonder if they know what they’re giving up. If they think it’s a worthwhile cause. Oil martyrs in a stinking town.

This is a sad, horrible place. I’ll be glad to leave.