The PA Places project presents photos and videos made with a point of view and a purpose in mind.
Broadly speaking, the purpose and aim of the project is to document the material culture of places in Pennsylvania and the lives of the state's residents within those places and that culture.
More specifically, the aim is to document the material cultures in the commonwealth because, while many places are similar to one another, they are also different. One way the project informs viewers is to help them develop a tangible sense of what the real similarities and differences between the commonwealth's places actually are. In a large state where fable, cliche, and caricature are all one place may know of another, this simple task may be more useful, and more difficult, that it may first seem.
The project is to present photojournalism, that is, images that are truthful about the condition of Pennsylvania's communities and their ways of life.
Even a world awash with selfies, photography retains a power to focus attention on what may too often overlooked, and by being overlooked, forgotten, underestimated, or misunderstood, or wished away.
We've been asked why the PA Places Project app is available for tablets or smart phones.
Our reason is that we want viewers to take time to view the images presented and look at them carefully. We think that's more likely to happen when people are sitting in front front of their TV in a space they have set aside to do concentrated viewing. We also like they idea that people might look at images with others and discuss them. That discussion may be more likely to happen in front of a TV.
We also think that the app's content could be a resource for educators and wanted to present material in a classroom-friendly, large-format presentation.
The PA Places Project is managed on a non-profit basis. Proceeds from the sale of prints or donations to the project are used to directly defer project costs such as promotion, data storage, travel to location, and app development. However, the project is not a non-profit entity in law and is owned as managed by Arbour Media LLC which is a commercial enterprise. Donations to the project are not tax deductible.