/24 Road

Ian Baguskas


This ongoing series, Searching, photographed in the American West, looks at our unexplainable desire to explore and travel in order to experience untouched terrain and beautiful vistas which reveals the importance of landscape in our lives.

Exploring and appreciating nature may now be part of the human condition, however, the reason for exploration has changed throughout history. With the journey of Lewis and Clark, the exploration of the American West was once used as a way for finding resources, taking inventory, and taming the wild. Now, modern civilization and the the age of the automobile allows us the free time to be able to travel for pleasure and provides the means of reaching these destinations. This has turned what would have been dangerous, and done mainly out of necessity, into something accessible and relatively easy for most.

Where does this seemingly instinctual yearning to explore come from and why does experiencing beautiful landscapes make us happy anyway? Perhaps we gain pleasure from conquering the wilderness because it gives us a sense of achievement. This achievement, however seems to be diminished by the ease in which we get there and perhaps the knowledge and evidence that so many others have been there already. Therefore, the very thing that allows us to so easily make these treks, robs us of at least some portion of the pleasure we seek. This leaves me to wonder, what are we looking for and how can we possibly find it.