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Thirtyfour Campgrounds

Thirtyfour Campgrounds

Camping can make us feel a powerful connection to nature and our rugged backwoods forebears. Campers once confronted the elemental facts of life, but now, the millions of Americans taking to the road on camping trips are more likely to drive to a campground, hook up service conduits, connect to WiFi, drop their awnings, and set out patio chairs. It is as if, Martin Hogue observes, each campsite functions as a stage upon which campers perform a series of ritualized activities (pitching the tent, building a fire, cooking over flames). In Thirtyfour Campgroundsoperating in the tradition of Ed Ruscha and the Bechers—Hogue investigates these sites offering a photographic and typological survey of nearly 6,500 American campsites, mapping subtle differences within the apparently identical. In honor of National Park Week, Martin Hogue discusses his quirky and innovative book.

What inspired Thirtyfour Campgrounds?

Thirtyfour Campgrounds is a book about camping, campgrounds and campsites, but I myself am not much of a camper nor do I profess a great love for the outdoors. The book I wrote is not strictly intended for scholars and practitioners of the craft, but also meant for a broader audience of art and design professionals.