manifesto: 4042n attempts
to describe the authentic
character of western culture [emphasis on attempts
; emphasis on authentic
for more on the application of the word "authentic" to this project please see: Honesty
Along the 365 mile stretch where Northern Colorado meets Southern Wyoming resides a rather lonely strip of the planet. At best, off the beaten path of most traveling through the vacation-friendly destinations of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. At its bleakest; an empty, lonely obstacle to dodge if possible. My name is John B. Crane. I am a photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado and this strip of earth between 40°n and 42°n latitude is my back yard.
Fall of 2009 marked my first intentional journey into the region I now call 4042n. I've passed through it often before, one of those always en route elsewhere. There's just nothing there, I thought often - one eye scanning the horizon for any relief at all - the other always on the weather.
By conventional standards most have discarded this patch of land. At the moment it's being ravaged by oil and gas exploration. Not only does it sit atop rather large natural resources produced by its unique geology, but big oil figures no one else wants it. But the current oil and gas exploration is incidental compared to the punishment wind and elements have inflicted over the years.
Families around the country planning summer vacations don't put sticky notes in this part of their atlas. Aside from Little America along I-80 there's really no place to stay except the back of your pick up. There's no shopping malls, no theme parks, and no Starbucks. But all this is part of the attraction.
It's hard land, even dangerous, due largely to its geographic isolation and exposure to the elements. Extreme weather can instantly become part of the equation - then just as instantly disappear. Winter transforms high, lonesome ranch land into arctic-like desolation.
This photo essay is about this little patch of earth; my back yard. A small out take of a larger project that, over time, remains focused on the region in an attempt to make peace with and understand the land and the few people that call this place home. You don't always have to travel to the ends of the earth for adventure. Often times it's right there, waiting in your own back yard.
Welcome to 4042n.