Junk into urban heritage

The Neon Boneyard, Las Vegas

Donna Houston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This short photographic essay is a reflection on the practice of cultural geography in places that are in the process of becoming historically significant. My focus is on a visit I made to the Neon Boneyard in Las Vegas in 2004, where I photographed signs collected from demolished casinos, bars and hotels as part of a research project on waste, decay and cultural memory in Nevada. While I initially explored the site to glean memory-work for my doctoral thesis on high-level nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, in another life before graduate school, I worked as a cultural heritage consultant in Australia. In making active connections between signs and meanings in-the-present, I wondered if sites such as the Neon Boneyard offer a different approach to practicing heritage in places. The text that accompanies the photographs is a reflection on the relationship between public art, junk and the practices of urban heritage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalCultural Geographies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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