In previous posts, I’ve mentioned my work on the Starlite Swap Meet, a regular outdoor market that takes place in what otherwise would be a vacant lot in southeast Los Angeles. I’m now inviting readers to (re) re-visit it, only this time in the shape of a photo essay recently featured on Polar Inertia, a journal of “nomadic and popular culture” that regularly features photos, articles, and related writing.
While a viewing of the photos alongside their published counterparts may affirm the relevance of such an essay on such a web journal, I do wonder, What about the essay’s subject, and not simply the aesthetic, makes it appropriate for such a forum? How does it comment on the “nomadic” and the “popular”? What definitions of “nomadic” and “popular” make them relevant to the “urban” and “informal”? And, finally, what obligations, if any, do I have as a researcher when I present visual work that has come out of an ongoing and longstanding academic exploration?
Your thoughts are welcome, as is a viewing of the photo essay, which can be found here: Starlite Swap Meet