A Survey of the ARRA

In late 2009 the Obama administration advocated for an unprecedented level of transparency in the disbursement of stimulus spending as provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. ARRA Section 1519 requires the “Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board… to establish and maintain a user-friendly, public-facing website to foster greater accountability and transparency in the use of covered funds.”

To this end the Administration established as a resource by which the public might track expenditures. I have used the text publicized on – and related local government websites – as my guide for what to photograph. The language accompanying the images has been transcribed verbatim from the original sources.

In choosing subjects, I have considered many parameters including but not limited to: perceived aesthetic opportunity, my initial response to the content of the language, and my desire to create a representative sampling of the broader stimulus efforts. While approaching this highly politicized information, I have attempted to disregard my own ideology.

The conceptual framework of this project is to reveal the point where abstract political processes manifest themselves in the physical world, thus providing an alternate means of experiencing the contemporary American landscape. Collectively the images show what aspects of our everyday lives are being assigned value in the promise of a recovered America. 

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