West South West by Matthew Conboy

Issue 54

The photographs from West South West document the mean centers of population that are plotted at the conclusion of every US Census by the United States Census Bureau. These locations have progressively moved in a west-southwesterly direction from Kent County, Maryland in 1790 to Texas County, Missouri in 2010. The consistent westerly shift of these population centers over the past 220 years evokes the power of the American Dream and the willingness of both citizens and immigrants alike to stake their lives, fortunes, and futures on opportunities located in Western and Border States. I visited each center of population which is represented by one image or diptych and included screenshots from my iPhone showing the map views of the 1790 and 2010 Centers.

Matthew Conboy lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.
To view more of Conboy’s work, please visit his website or follow West South West on Tumblr.

You can purchase "WSW, 1880 (Boone County, KY)" from Fraction Editions

  iPhone Screenshot, 26 July 2013 

iPhone Screenshot, 26 July 2013 

  WSW, 1790 (Kent County, MD) 

WSW, 1790 (Kent County, MD) 

  WSW, 1800 (Howard County, MD) 

WSW, 1800 (Howard County, MD) 

  WSW, 1810 (Loudoun County, VA) 

WSW, 1810 (Loudoun County, VA) 

  WSW, 1820 (Hardy County, WV) 

WSW, 1820 (Hardy County, WV) 

  WSW, 1830 (Grant County, WV) 

WSW, 1830 (Grant County, WV) 

  WSW, 1840 (Upshur County, WV) 

WSW, 1840 (Upshur County, WV) 

  WSW, 1850 (Wirt County, WV) 

WSW, 1850 (Wirt County, WV) 

  WSW, 1860 (Pike County, OH) 

WSW, 1860 (Pike County, OH) 

  WSW, 1870 (Highland County, OH) 

WSW, 1870 (Highland County, OH) 

  WSW, 1880 (Boone County, KY) 

WSW, 1880 (Boone County, KY) 

  WSW, 1890 (Decatur County, IN) and WSW 1900 (Bartholomew County, IN) 

WSW, 1890 (Decatur County, IN) and WSW 1900 (Bartholomew County, IN) 

  WSW, 1910 (Monroe County, IN) 

WSW, 1910 (Monroe County, IN) 

  WSW, 1920 (Owen County, IN) 

WSW, 1920 (Owen County, IN) 

  WSW, 1930 (Greene County, IN) and WSW, 1940 (Sullivan County, IN) 

WSW, 1930 (Greene County, IN) and WSW, 1940 (Sullivan County, IN) 

  WSW, 1950 (Richland County, IL) Original Center 

WSW, 1950 (Richland County, IL) Original Center 

  WSW, 1950 (Clay County, IL) Current Center 

WSW, 1950 (Clay County, IL) Current Center 

  WSW, 1960 (Clinton County, IL) and WSW, 1970 (St. Clair County, IL) 

WSW, 1960 (Clinton County, IL) and WSW, 1970 (St. Clair County, IL) 

  WSW, 1980 (Jefferson County, MO) 

WSW, 1980 (Jefferson County, MO) 

  WSW, 1990 (Crawford County, MO) 

WSW, 1990 (Crawford County, MO) 

  WSW, 2000 (Phelps County, MO) 

WSW, 2000 (Phelps County, MO) 

  WSW, 2010 (Texas County, MO) 

WSW, 2010 (Texas County, MO) 

  iPhone Screenshot, 7 August 2013 

iPhone Screenshot, 7 August 2013