Feedback Loop

They were both working at Papa John's in Manitowoc until it closed in spring. Mark sold Brad a video camera cheap and Brad taped even the most mundane aspects of his daily life like going in to work to deliver pizza on Christmas eve. After working a bunch of food service jobs from Papa John's to McDonald's, Amber began scrutinizing the ingredients on the food packages in her kitchen cabinets then did some Internet research and decided to plant a garden in the backyard of the small house they were renting in an industrial neighborhood. It seemed a good project while they were underemployed. Brad tilled up the plot and videotaped the process. She planted, weeded and mulched. We decided to photograph her in the garden when the first vegetables were ready for harvest in July. She held her hoe, donned her garden gloves and tucked a day lily behind her ear. Brad videotaped us photographing with our 8x10 while wearing his ubiquitous two-tone sunglasses. The regional subtexts our photographs are about can now be viewed on YouTube with the added texture of the sound of voices, the visual detail of interior spaces and the specific qualities of the Midwestern landscape that are obvious and all-encompassing yet remote and obscure. Our photographic interactions become fodder too, making us the subject in an endless feedback loop.