So many of the ideas set forth in the twentieth century—the American ideal, the manufacture of desire, the insistence on exponential growth—all brought us to a point where the measure of the quality of our lives came to be based on how much we spend, and how much time we have for leisure. Once we surrendered stewardship of this well-being to the financial markets, our futures were gambled. The financial market does as it is built to do: rise and fall, gain and recede, seek advantage wherever it can… But even with so much of our well being invested in it, we seemed surprised when the tides suddenly shift.
“Dark Stores,” “Ghost Boxes” and “Dead Malls” is an extension of my long-term work documenting American consumer culture since the turn of the twentieth century. (Brian Ulrich)
Cover and interior photos by Brian Ulrich