Malls Across America, A Photographic Flashback to the 1980s

In the 1980s suburban malls across the United States were becoming the epicenter of social and economic life. In 1989, a 20 year old photographer named Michael Galinsky drove across the country to document this pastime, big hair and all. Over 20 years later, Michael launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to turn the photographs of his 1989 trip into the resulting book Malls Across America, published in 2013 by Steidl.

In 1989, following in the footsteps of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and William Eggleston, I drove across the country and documented malls across America. I had a cheap Nikon FG-20 and an even cheaper lens – but I had a lot of passion.

I shot about 30 rolls of slide film in malls from Long Island to North Dakota to Seattle. It was hard to tell from the images where they were taken, and that was kind of the point. I was interested in the creeping loss of regional differences. I thought a lot about Frank’s “The Americans” as we drove from place to place without any sense of place.