Friday, October 5, 2012

Turret Arch in Times Square

While visiting New York City recently, I was suprised to see a picture of Turret Arch on a giant LED screen in Times Square.

The picture was part of a photo montage of southwestern landscapes. Surrounded by millions of dollars worth of advertising and the thousands of visitors who came here to gawk at the advertising, I'm still not sure what the photos are saying in this context. Alone, they were beautiful of course. But in Times Square do they remind us of authentic experience in a monetized world,  or do they commodify those experiences?

Here is Turret Arch as viewed through North Window Arch from our visit to Arches National Park last year. Arches are so amazing and alien in their own right, that to call them natural only seems technically correct. There is no other place like it. This park sits on top of a wildly exposed plateau. The elaborate stone arches connect us to the sky and a bewildering sense of time.
Strange lights.
Frames and displays.
Times Square is free.
Arches National Park costs $25 per car.

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