The quiet kingdom of Bliss sleeps on a hill above the Snake River. It is dilapidated barns in fallow cornfields and white potato cellars stuffed with the future french fries of America. Cowboys ride their horses through the country as they guide their grazing cattle. The locals satiate their thirst at Jenny or Frank’s bars and fill their bellies at Ziggy’s Gas and Grill. Life in Bliss is simple, but not simplistic. Our hamlet is content, yet proud of our humble community and gracious natives, so we eagerly show it off to all who come and visit.
This Is Bliss is a transmedia narrative project investigating the vanishing roadside geography and culture of a rural Idaho town named Bliss. The project considers how mythologies of place and happiness collide, and are frequently confounded, in a location with a complex narrative of booms and busts that reflects the complicated history of American Idealism and Manifest Destiny. All that remains in Bliss is two gas stations, a school, a church, a diner, and two saloons to service its 300 current residents. Through a thorough look at the contemporary landscape and its residents, This Is Bliss contrasts romantic visions of the American West with its contemporary reality and considers how the heights of idealism are envisioned on both a personal and cultural level.