Artist Steve Lovelace has created a map of "The Corporate States of America." For each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, he's assigned a brand or corporation that best represents it. "My criteria are subjective, but in each case, I tried to use a brand that a) is based in that state and b) is still in business (as of 2012)," the artist explains.
California is represented by Apple computers, Texas is Dr. Pepper, and so on. "My hypothesis is that, as corporations and non-governmental organizations grow in power, the power of nation states will become increasingly irrelevant. We’re already seeing this on a small scale, as people turn to the Internet to make friends, instead of befriending their neighbors. I think that, as corporations become the dominant organizations on Earth, people will start thinking of themselves as citizens of Apple or partisans of Starbucks."
While I see the point Lovelace is trying to make, I have greater faith in humanity that we won't entirely loose our personal and collective identities to brands. But that burden falls on us—instead of thinking about ourselves and our states in corporate terms, perhaps Lovelace's map could be taken as a call to reflect on what place we want in this country and the world: how do we want to represent ourselves, and the places we call home? Its hard to generalize, but instead of letting a brand do it for you, how would you define the people and the place where you live? As a New Yorker, I'd characterize the state and its citizens in three words: resilient, ambitious, cultured.
In a few words, summarize where you live. Click here to add this to your To-Do list.
Image via Steve Lovelace