Artist's Statement

Scott Alberg

The photographs in this series were shot in the rough vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the surrounding Mojave Desert. The images date from the start of the Great Recession and Housing Collapse of 2008 to the present. To my eyes the sites I photograph carry a strange psychic potential, a sense of hope or imaginative renewal, despite the excesses of waste, loss and abandonment that still characterize many parts of the region today.

Many of these photographs occurred specifically within the confines of Summerlin, one of the largest “master-planned” communities in the United States. My family lived in Summerlin for over 20 years. It was a second home to me. Nearly every Summerlin tree planting and lot size has been decided upon within its “master-plan” since the mid-1990s. Yet here the overdetermined blurs with the not-yet-occurred, and the final remnants of dreams eventually yield to the materiality of the desert.

In the mid-1980s a proposed (though ultimately rejected) name for this new community was Summaville, a “summary-city” that would evoke past, present and future. I feel this disregarded name nicely encapsulates my project.