As always, America is a hard country to define. With elections only a week away the question of an American identity seems to be one that is particularly relevant and particularly elusive. The “real America,” if there is such a thing, is a place that both sets of candidates aim to speak to. Whether or not they actually do that is questionable at best. Five Thirty Eight has two insightful infograms that outline what Palin’s (McCain’s) and Obama’s “real America[‘s]” are, according to their campaign stops.
The character of that America is something that artists and intellectuals in other countries are, unsurprisingly, interested in as well. Specifically, a group of artists from the Netherlands have made it their goal to identify and study the unique qualities of middle America. The Heartland Research Project is “an interdisciplinary project which reflects on the visual culture, art and music of the heart of the United States.” It would only make sense that a country filled with odds and ends (where people idolize Vice Presidential candidates on cookies, rent drug dogs to spy on their children, and lead wonderful eccentric / cute lives like Irene Williams) would lend itself to such fascinating observation.
[^ via Heartland Research]