Prefab Indiana

Prefabricated houses roll south, 70 miles per hour, on I-69. I daydream north, 13+ years, 70 miles per hour, on I-69 between my Indianapolis home near Exit 0 to Exit 41 and work at Ball State University.

The prefabs are sourced in northern Indiana, in places like Elkhart – the “RV Capital of the World” – were one manufacturer, Skyline, built 890,000 houses since 1951. The city of Middlebury is there too, and so are places with fun names: Goshen, Wakarusa, Nappanee, Shipshewana.

About the photos. Inspired by Chris Jones’ “St Ives by chance” and “chance process” work, and John Cage’s musical composition 4’33”. A house approaches, camera up, viewfinder look, shutter push, then gone. Three seconds. Converging high speeds, closeness, and one-eye-on-prefab-one-eye-on-traffic bring blurs and out-of-frame experiences. Houses are backgrounded as overpasses, yellow lines, asphalt, guardrails, vehicles, dirty windshield, weather, changing seasonal landscapes, signage, and traffic accidents come into view. January to July 2009.

Prefabricated houses keep rolling, their mobility reflecting our confident choices in the best of times, tagging along now with the contradictory and complementary forces of foreclosing, vacating, and on-the-moving of our unsettling and resettling lives. (For more prefabricated houses rolling in Indiana, also see: onesmallproject flickr set.)

wes janz

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