"Florida must be one of the most photographed places on earth; familiar tropes of theme parks and beach resorts predominate on postcards and T-shirts, in family albums, on social media, and in our collective memories. Mark Indig rejects these subjects in favor of what he calls “UnFlorida,” a conscious effort to see and preserve visual elements that are less familiar. Like many, Indig has been a regular visitor to Florida, vacationing there as a child, for work trips associated with the making of several Hollywood films, and as an independent photographer to produce this personal body of work. He has, thus, seen many parts of the state, with different eyes and intentions. We recognize that Indig’s constructed vision is shaped by the very clichés he seeks to avoid, but it is his determination to tell his own version of the place that we value.
One of the most venerable organizing principles of photographs related to place is the constructed journey. As far back as Eduard Baldus’s fictional ride along the Chemin de Fer du Nord, and an intuitive practice in every souvenir album of the Grand Tour, photographs made during multiple journeys are assembled as an uninterrupted route. This grants the viewer an easy vicarious experience, while allowing the artist the creative opportunity to construct an idealized story that expresses his own vision through choices of content, angle and framing, as well as editing and sequence. Indig has photographed all over Florida, over several years. He has used the results of multiple journeys and the structure provided by the Florida Trail itself to shape his knowledge and experience into a singular body of work.The virtual nature of this journal (and of most photography today) allows us to share this project in a way the printed page does not allow. We are delighted to present Mark Indig’s “UnFlorida” as an interactive portfolio and a digital walk from one end of the state to the other." Alison Nordstrom - Photo Editor, Journal of Florida StudiesThe Florida Trail is one of 11 congressionally designated National Scenic Trails but probably the least known and traveled. It is approximately 1,300-miles long, revealing the biodiversity, history, and rich culture of Florida. Its termini lie in Gulf Islands National Seashore to the North, and Big Cypress National Preserve to the South. It is one of 11 congressionally designated National Scenic Trails.
Using the trail as a general guide and avoiding coasts, beaches, theme parks, big cities, tourist attractions, college towns, resorts, kitsch and tourists, I discovered a different Florida on this project, one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Florida is like a great book with a flashy cover that very few people bother to read.
Below on the left is the actual Trail map and on the right, the location of the images in this gallery. Click here for an interactive version of the map.