Manufactured Drivescapes

Wen and I are chilling out in our apartment tonight in the interregnum between going on holiday and moving into a new place.  To celebrate, we decided to watch Edward Burtynsky‘s Manufactured Landscapes.  It’s one of those films you can put on in the background and have a conversation and not miss a beat.  That’s not because it’s a bad movie, rather the opposite: Burtynsky’s a photographer whose work is on such a massive scale that you need to talk about it to digest it.

I’ve seen the movie a few times and one of my favourite scenes are shots of California Freeways.  I find them fascinating because Los Angeles was once (and potentially again) a city that was car friendly.  LA is where America’s love affair with the car – and all the drama that comes along with a fantastic lover – can best be seen.  In fact, perhaps no more than on Interstate 405.  For those of you who have no idea why Interstate 405 is so fascinating (after all, it’s just a strip of road between San Diego and LA, right?), here are some shots of the on- and offramps.  They’re both beautiful (as works of engineering) and disgusting (as symbols of technology run wild) at the same time.