This Is Bliss

This Is Bliss is an in-progress transmedia narrative project (photography, video, performance, sculpture, and text) investigating the roadside geography and culture of a rural Idaho town named Bliss. 

The richly complex historical significance of Bliss is evidenced by its positioning on the Oregon Trail, its emergence as a town during the construction of some of the first railroads in the continental US , its positioning on the Snake River Valley, which was investigated photographically by the likes of Ansel Adams and hosts the site of daredevil Evel Knievel’s failed attempt to jump a gorge with his motorcycle in 1974, as well as being the home town of Holden Bowler, the inspirational namesake for J.D. Salinger’s quintessential malcontent Holden Caulfield in "The Catcher in the Rye".

All that remains in Bliss is two gas stations, a small school, a church, a diner, and two saloons to service its 300 current residents. Through a thorough look at the contemporary landscape and its inhabitants, This Is Bliss contrasts romantic visions of the American West with its contemporary reality and considers how the heights of idealism are obtained on both a personal and cultural level. 

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