Saturday, July 2, 2016

Contemplating the Anthropocene

Over the past few years I've tried to shift my focus away from protests, events, and breaking news photography in hopes that I might return to more traditional documentary/fine art work. As time has passed I've become more interested in the changing landscape we find ourselves existing and/or constructing in contemporary America.

Lately, I'm interested in how our constructed landscape specifically reflects our cultural values and priorities. Here are the questions I've been trying to visually explore: How does our built environment interact with existing landscapes and ecologies? How does the built environment affect our social interactions in any given space or place? What's our relationship with our public spaces and civic spaces? What happens when our constructed landscapes are divorced from our cultural histories and traditions?

I've got a million and one ideas swirling in my head. Here are a handful of images that have emerged as I slowly venture deeper into the ideas and the inevitable questions they raise. This work is a continuation of my explorations of the New Topographics movement that I previously posted about. With any luck, I'll be pulling this project together (possibly hanging a show somewhere) in the coming months.

Click to enlarge.

The landscape of Vermont is changing. With any luck, these images will spark a conversation around what mechanisms are driving that change. The tourist-driven economy has fetishized the rolling hills and Green Mountains with postcard perfect imagery of quaint villages and villagers, but this is a false image that we've been selling to the tourists and to ourselves. It's time to re-imagine the creative output concerning the Vermont Landscape and revise our relationship to the land we've been left to manage.

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