Fauxliage documents the proliferation of disguised cell phone towers in the American West.
For Annette LeMay Burke, the fake foliage of the trees draws more attention than camouflage. The often-farcical tower disguises belie the equipment’s covert ability to collect all the phone calls and digital information passing through them, to be bought and sold by advertisers and stored by the government.
From the very start, cell towers were considered eyesores. Plastic leaves were attached in an attempt to hide the visual pollution. Over time, the disguises evolved from primitive palms and evergreens into more elaborate costumes. The towers now masquerade as flagpoles, crosses, water towers, and cacti.
Today, as our demand for five bars of connectivity continues to increase, the charade still persists. Annette was initially drawn to the towers’ whimsical appearances. The more Annette photographed, the more disconcerted she felt that technology was clandestinely modifying our environment.
Annette’s photographs expose the towers’ idiosyncratic disguises, highlight the variety of forms, and show how ubiquitous they are in our daily lives. Their appearance is now an inescapable part of the iconic western road trip and the eight states that Annette visited for this project.
Author: Annette LeMay Burke
Hardcover: 112 pages