Artist: Daniel Kariko
Description: After the U.S. housing market’s volatile rise and fall in the early-2000s, Florida’s suburban areas experienced a persistent phenomenon: ambitious development projects sat unfinished across the state, their streets thinly populated with new, empty homes. In the immediate aftermath of this crisis, Daniel Kariko set out to document what developers left behind and how the natural world had quickly begun to take over.
In Kariko’s series of images, shot primarily from a small airplane in 2008 and 2009, many of these Florida neighborhoods still bear the superficial trappings of opulent living, the grand entrance boulevards, the palm-encircled pools, the optimistic signage—A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE!—yet the communities themselves lie vacant, already given over to decay. Lots and driveways have gone to seed. Lengths of impromptu wilderness fill the spaces between structures. Cul-de-sacs hold the ghosts of homes and their would-be families. When observed as a whole, from above and from the curb, Kariko’s SpeculationWorld tells the story of an industry’s hubris and its tangible consequence.