California’s Failed Utopia
Photographer Chang Kim’s series is about the failed suburban development plan in California City, CA in U.S. that promised “Utopia” but only left bizarre remnants of the fanatic movements that swept the region in 1960s.
“It is the third largest city in California by area, but most of its land is unoccupied and deserted. Only typical desert fields are seen on the ground level with no signs of development, but once the viewer’s perspective is elevated to a few hundred feet above the ground, the vast land in the Mojave Desert unveils unearthly scenes of endless paved roads and empty grids that were engineered for massive residential projects in the middle of literally nothing. The frenzy seeking for a new gold mine of real estate in 1960s went on for years but the dream never became reality and it has been deserted for decades,” Chang Kim wrote.
“Among many faces of our built environments, what attracts my attention is its failure. The architectural remnants of projects or radical movements that are now generally considered as failure always make me have some kind of romantic view to it and raise questions about why people had to make the choice and how things that are happening now will be considered in the future.”