jack toolin
skyline
Continental Drift

Continental Drift speaks to the anxieties felt by members of the middle and lower classes as the cost of living has increased while income has plateaued over the past thirty years. The images isolate figures in simplified backgrounds - sometimes within color fields; sometimes within backgrounds reduced to black and red; sometimes with text and sometimes without – that emphasize their body language, their facial expressions and the semiotic connotations of their clothing. The photographs are made surreptitiously, with the ‘decisive moment’ being one of psychological expression. Ultimately, my goal is to characterize the psychoeconomics of our neoliberal times, when more than ever daily decisions are weighted with financial consequences.

Over the last four or five decades, due to recessions, a regressive political climate, a progressive social climate, and a shift from national to transnational corporate practices, the status of this social class has been shaken. While these changes were economically inevitable and socially necessary, they nevertheless created a wake of disaffection. Continental Drift features people at moments of introspection, distraction, or exasperation as a means of documenting and commenting upon this significant change.

This project is part of my ongoing interest in the relationship between individuals and larger economic, cultural and political systems. Important influences have been writers such as C. Wright Mills, David Harvey and Manuel Castells, and artists going back as far as Lewis Hine, and later, like Guy Debord, Hans Haacke and Allan Sekula.

Continental Drift (ebbs–flows), 2020.

Continental Drift (forecast), 2018.

Continental Drift (trench coat), 2015.

Continental Drift (volatility), 2019.

Continental Drift (man_forecast), 2018.

Continental Drift (man_trench coat), 2015.

Continental Drift (woman_profiting), 2019.

Continental Drift (man_forecast), 2018.

Continental Drift (man_trench coat), 2015.

Continental Drift (woman_profiting), 2019.

Continental Drift (man_forecast), 2018.

Continental Drift (man_trench coat), 2015.

Continental Drift (woman_profiting), 2019.

Continental Drift (man_forecast), 2018.

Continental Drift (man_trench coat), 2015.