This series of photographs illustrates both the scale and the vast strangeness of California’s Prison Industrial Complex. The prisons are photographed at night from a distance so that the lights from the prison illuminate the landscape. The light that controls the prison population stands as an indicator of state control. The visual effect references the images from the test sites of nuclear bombs, an enormous display of technocratic power reflecting a truly destructive invasion into otherwise peaceful pastoral settings.
A Vast Strangeness: Prisons invading California
Josef Jacques is a photographer and educator based in Oakland. He has done work involving California and its prisons that is part of a larger body of work dealing with government’s use of land, specifically in California.
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Josef Jacques; A Vast Strangeness: Prisons invading California. Boom 1 June 2016; 6 (2): 8–21. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.2.8
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