– Autumn/Winter 2003

Reeling in Utah: The Travel Log Trilogy

Dick Hebdige

One is always crossing the horizon yet it always remains distant. In this line where sky meets earth, objects cease to exist... Since the car was at all times onsome left-over horizon, one might say that the car was imprisoned in a line, a line that is in no way linear.. the distance seemed to put restrictions on all forward movement, thus bringing the car to a countless series of standstills.
- Robert Smithson

Some people like to believe in a lot of nonsense. A road is a road...
- Springrock, NM resident, Verona Watts, responding in the Salt Lake Tribune (07/30/03) to the news that, thanks to negative PR generated by the Book of Revelations, Hwy 666 linking Gallup, NM to Monticello, UT is about to be renamed Hwy 491
... is a road...


While I was an actor in the five-day road-trip piece documented below I played no
part either in choosing the destinations, planning the route or operating the vehicle.
the road-trip piece was composed, choreographed and directed by JB as a 'film-with-
no-film' commissioned by Afterall for the purposes of this documentation
(with gas, motel and restaurant receipts retained for reimbursement). The intent
was for JB to structure an experience framed by an itinerary linking sites that
feature in a number of his works. The piece would be orchestrated in such a
way as to expose, through mimesis, JB's working methods, focal concerns and
the 'driven' quality of his attachment both to place and to independent 16mm
filmmaking. Reeling in Utah thus reverses the road-loop-to-film-spool
sequence established in North on Evers (1991). Whereas the latter work
consists of