I began this project during an artist residency in Iceland in August 2014. I was on a road trip when warnings of the possible eruption of the Bárðarbunga subglacial stratovolcano begun. Watching some apocalyptic media coverage while consulting webcams and data from surveillance systems influenced me to make audiovisual recordings of remote monitoring devices, of the territory’s transformation due to volcanic activity, as well as geothermal phenomena and power plants. Made of field recordings and stationary camera shots, the audiovisual piece has a documentary style. Due to its non-linear structure, the work unfolds in an unpredictable manner and its conclusion remains unknown.
The piece consists of a database of hundreds of video loops presented according to the evolution of a statistical model that integrates data coming from the sensors of the computer that runs the installation: temperature of components, fan speed and energy consumption. This information is displayed as unidentified graphs on a second screen. High levels of activity and electricity consumption will lead the device to display energy-charged audiovisual scenes, while low levels will transport the audience to contemplative spaces that seem to be frozen in time. The system’s monitoring influences the course of events it presents, and vice versa.
Taken over a month-long journey, the photographs are a visual engagement with the immediate surroundings, noticing subtle moments in the ordinary. Observing traces of everyday life, the camera’s frame was used as a tool to record happenstances. Led by accidental arrangements left behind by the passer-by it becomes an interaction with a stranger and reflects ephemeral moments of chance encounters.
Deindustrialisation is a process of social and economic change caused by the removal or reduction of industrial capacity or activity in a country or region.
For most of the 20th century, Fleetwood was a prominent deep-sea fishing port, but, since the 1970s, the fishing industry has declined precipitously and the town has undergone economic difficulties. I am very interested in the way this has affected the landscape and the area.
The Port of Fleetwood provided ro-ro (roll on-roll off) traffic to and from Northern Ireland and was a busy fishing port for many years. The port played a significant role in enhancing the connectivity of the wider region and the movement of freight, as well as providing jobs. Aspirations to revive this role remain, so operational areas at the port are protected and safeguarded with fences and barbed wire.
Questions of land use, industry and the effect of the decline on the economy, form the basis of the enquiry. The main concept is to represent the effects of deindustrialisation on a specific place and to show how this affects the political landscape.
Much of my work could be seen as an attempt to decelerate or suspend the irreversible flow of time. The Out of Season series uses the disappearing motels of Wildwood, New Jersey as its subject matter and endeavors to bring out the interplay of an idealized past and its inexorable disappearance.
People inhabit these images only by inference and allusion; and in many ways, it’s this physical absence from which the work draws its strength. Impressions are made at a more elemental depth, below explicit communication, echoing that most universal of all human experiences: the relentless passage of time what is left behind in its wake.
When I make photographs, I continually find myself coming back to something Milton Glaser said: “I am more interested in what you can’t tell a story about. Which is to say, the overtones of our subconscious, the connections that are made below the level of narrative.”
My work is concerned with landscapes faraway, journey and memory.
Akmê (from the ancient Greek word “summit”) is a series of 19 photographs taken within this last year in arctic and antarctic polar zones. It falls both within a documentary approach made of distant sobriety, and a research of aesthetic writing.
Mountains of Arctic Spitsbergen, Chilean fjords, Tierra del Fuego or the Antarctic Peninsula — the summits are dissimilar but somehow always the same. Inaccessible, indomitable, they are isolated from their landscape to be unified in a resurgence of the sublime.
Tangible marks of the changes of the planet, these heights are out of scale, appeased in temporality.
I was born and grew up in a southern coastal city of China, witnessing the development, transformation, as well as the increasing contradictions.
Last year, I tried to use the most direct approach to take the photos along the southeastern coastal line. What I saw was completely different from that in my childhood as the result of the construction projects.
All the things lost their identity, which made me feel the change here was so fast, including not only the environment, but also the customs, beliefs and families.
At that time, a sense of strange and sad was raised in my mind. What I can do now is to
slowly pick up these memories, which is a return and desire as well as the most
primitive expression of my heart.
Four artists, all of whom were featured on this blog, came together last month in Portland, Oregon, to reflect on a show of their work, Women in the Landscape. Zach Krahmer made a video of the discussion at Newspace Center for Photography, which hosted the exhibit. Jessica Auer, Jennifer Colten, Lauren Henkin and Dawn Roe participated in the discussion, moderated by Paul Sutinen. The 83-minute video is here.
I am a photographer and book artist living in Maine. I have just completed my latest book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness. In it, I attempt to create a history of Tokyo through its landscape. The title refers to the elements of nature in Buddhism. Each element refers not only to physical properties of the world, but also the psychological nature of an animate being, creating a dichotomy of the object and observer.
I am fascinated by our perception of an image, the aesthetic response, and the change in perception with knowledge of what is represented. Landscapes are a complex layering of material and form that reflect the chronology that created them. Our immediate response is very intuitive—we engage with the shapes, colors, and textures. Our experience of particular elements, trees, rivers, buildings, etc., create associated impressions, which can be unique to an individual. The landscape can go through another transformation with information that is not apparent, for example, all the islands and coastline in Tokyo are artificial, representing about 100 sq. mi. of reclaimed land—the landscape in Tokyo bay even 60 years ago would have just been open water. My book is available on my website.
In Catharsis: Images of Post-Conflict Belfast, I explore to what degree the language of the snapshot contributes to or obscures our understanding of time and place. Juxtaposing snapshot photography from my Belfast family album with newer documentary images of urban Belfast in the post-conflict present, I situate each image in relation to an unspoken memory, and a troubled history, while marking each piece with its GPS coordinates, as a reference to its military historical legacy. Each site photographed is a former ‘Troubles’ site, now a Tourist site. Walking along the Peace walls on its Protestant side, I recall personal family album images taken on the Catholic side. The GPS is a reminder of Belfast’s history with its absent military ‘presence.’ The stark contrast in scale and genre, between the personal album images and the more public documents helps shape an understanding of the gap between them.
My image-making is often a dance with self-doubt, both poetic and practical. It is this balance between states that I use to create a sense of unease and ambiguity. I use the medium of photography to translate visual stories that lie somewhere between myth, reality and the everyday. I seek an intimacy with the viewer, to feel an attraction with place, and to recognise the power of the unconscious self. The work often asks questions about how we relate to the world, whilst gifting a private vision. Using journeys to find a new experience with nature and everyday scenes. I use the landscape as a metaphor.