Fine Art Photography Daily

Jon Horvath: The States Project: Wisconsin


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy D

On the outside, Jon Horvath seems very calm. But in his head, and in his artistic practice, there’s plenty of action. I have the privilege of being an occasional sounding board for Jon’s artistic musings, and I can tell you that there seems to be no limit to the stream of ideas or his energy to complete them. I can’t wait to see his large project, This Is Bliss when it’s fully realized. He has also been an important influence for many of the young fine art photographers in Milwaukee, having taught at both the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.

Jon Horvath’s interdisciplinary practice adapts systems-based strategies to photography, performance, and new media works. His work is influenced by American literature, pop culture, and his interest in the unfixed nature of a photographic experience. Horvath received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008, and a BAS in both English Literature and the History of Philosophy from Marquette University in 2001. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in venues including: The Print Center (Philadelphia), FIESP Cultural Centre (Sao Paolo, Brazil), Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Newspace Center for Photography (Portland), the Haggerty Museum of Art (Milwaukee), INOVA (Milwaukee), and the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. His work is currently held in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Haggerty Museum of Art, and is included in the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Horvath is a 2015 recipient of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists in the Established Artist category and a Top 50 Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist. In 2011, he was named a US Flash Forward winner by The Magenta Foundation.  Horvath currently teaches in the New Studio Practice program at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.



©Kevin J. Miyazaki


Passages utilizes excerpts from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road as source material for orchestrated drives on Wisconsin’s alphabetical county trunk highway system. Using GPS technology to track each drive, newly generated line drawings emerge as evidence of Kerouac’s text being written in the landscape, with an automobile effectively functioning as a pen.

This display represents a 71.5 hour drive, broken up into 13 parts, which covered 2,786 miles of rural Wisconsin highways in order to spell out one of On the Road’s most iconic passages:

The only people for me are the mad ones, the one who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

Included here are 13 maps, 26 photographs (each corresponding to a lettered highway), and a 170’ scroll displaying all of the statistical data captured by GPS device. The scroll sits as an homage to Kerouac’s original manuscript that was typed on a continuous, 120’ scroll of tracing paper sheets taped together.


1The Only People For Me

©Jon Horvath, The Only People For Me


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy A


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy B

4Mad to Live

©Jon Horvath, Mad to Live


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy H


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy J

7Desirous of Everything At the Same Time

©Jon Horvath, Desirous of Everything At the Same Time


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy L


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy N

10But Burn Burn Burn

©Jon Horvath, But Burn, Burn, Burn


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy O


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy P

11Like Fabulous Yellow Roman Candles

©Jon Horvath, Like Fabulous Yellow Roman Candles


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy S


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy T

12Exploding Like Spiders

©Jon Horvath, Exploding Like Spiders


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy U


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy W


©Jon Horvath, County Hwy Y

Install1 Install2

Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.

NEXT | >
< | PREV