SQUARE WHEELS This portfolio book collects the images of twenty-two automotive Others – the cars and other wheeled vehicles that refuse to conform to the status-marking norms of American Car Culture.
Striving males, in particular, follow the media cues to roll on cool wheels and thereby enjoy power, status, and (shared) identity. From the hulking Escalade to the prissy Prius to the clunker with flashy hubcaps, American cars make little speeches about who the driver wants to be.
But every dominant culture evokes a counterculture of Others: outsiders, dissidents, deviants, rejects, renegades, and ne'er-do-wells. This portfolio honors some of these these outsiders – the un-cool or 'square' wheels that display plainness, out-of-date-ness, distressed color, sheer ugliness, or playful eccentricity.
Some are countercultural or green-culture protests that say "I don't give a hoot about shiny heaps of metal." Others are survivals from disillusionment or poverty, saying "I'll just keep on truckin' somehow."
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