900 x 339 MAP OST with states

Moving forward, looking back will explore the Spanish legacy found along the Old Spanish Trail, a route that was envisioned to link the colonial outposts of New Mexico and California.

I will be traveling in Orwell, a 1984 RV that will be my home and my modern day mule as I explore the Old Spanish Trail in the footsteps of the explorer and merchant Antonio Armijo, who travelled between New Mexico and California in 1829. I will be searching out how the traditions of the first settlers who established along the way since the early 19th century have merged with domestic cultures influencing the creation and identity of today’s pueblos and modern cities. The RV will act as a portable studio and as a meeting place from which to engage with the Spanish descendants that I encounter along the way.  I will be photographing and recording their oral histories to reveal some traces of the intangible heritage that remains across these states.

The Old Spanish Trail is an arduous pack mule trail that flourished in the 19th century allowing early merchants from both regions to engage in trade within a vast and imposing environment. Approximately 1200 miles long, landscapes have evolved from the times when blankets and quilts were exchanged for mules and horses, and the perceived distances have substantially shortened since the original caravans, which traveled around 15 miles a day, have been replaced with the speed of modern transportation.