50 x 20 miles [in California]

1993 | 10

In 1993 I moved from Frankfurt/Main to Vienna. In October, when the heating in my new apartment was out of duty for about a month, I decided on the spur of the moment to fly to San Francisco to meet there with my long-time friend Georg Simader. We stayed for several weeks and enjoyed the most beautiful US-City at the time.

Of course, we had to take a tour around the state. We drove the highway #1 from San Francisco north to Bodega Bay, Mendocino and Eureka, from where we went to Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. After a quite sobering night in Las Vegas (Nevada) we drove via Barstow and Bakersfield back to the Californian coast, visiting Big Sur and Carmel. After ten days we were happy to be back in SF. Although we were thrilled to visit a lot of places we had only known from music or films, we did not really enjoy the trip: The countryside was unbearable, every motel looked just like the other, I found nothing to eat (as a despiser of hamburgers and Mexican food) and we barely met people to talk to. I remember a little town called Hayfork: it’s got an airport and one bar closing at 9 p.m.

The concept of the pictures is very simple: one picture was taken every 20 miles from inside the car without caring where we were and what was to see. All of this took place long before the digitalization, so the results were only seen later when printed. Since I had no driving licence, Georg was driving all the time and I took the pictures. To satisfy the truth, I have to confess that the last picture was taken at the end of the journey in San Francisco, while the 1000 miles ended in the middle of nowhere – on our way to the coast. It’s my tribute to the genius of David Lynch.

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