Imag[in]ing America depicts a series of locations in the United States as a residue of cultural memory, an inheritance. It is a metaphorical memoir, a narrative re-telling of facts and fictions and it is also a discovery of the dreamland that still is America.
Reno embodies ideas of Western idealism, the frontier spirit, transience, and the gambler’s impulse to risk everything for the chance at a better life. It was founded as a toll, a passage across the Truckee River, and on silver from the Comstock Lode. A pioneering town that has never abandoned its traditions of boom and bust; Reno is a place of gambling, drinking, and legalized prostitution. It was once known as the divorce capital of America, attracting glamorous prospective divorcees from around the country who established residency just long enough to untie the knot. Even in its brush with glamour Reno remained true to the profane. It was and is a place of extremes, where mediocrity is traded in for a chance at the exceptional. A transient space made up of transients, Reno is a place of dreams and deviation, a place to forget the past and look toward a better future, a place you move to finally imagine a new beginning. And though most of the dreams are never realized and those that are quickly vanish, still it is the image of Reno as the quintessence of its failed myths that reverberates and entices.