Book – Feed a Different Imagination

Copies are available of this book here  . Work from ‘Enclosure’ is featured in this Photo Book. Proceeds go towards purchase of Polio vaccinations in countries that have  abandoned this important procedure.150811

The book contains a selection of photographic projects, each of which offers a special contribution to the relevant discussion of feeding the world. The works were chosen through an international competition organized in occasion of the Universal Exhibition of Milan EXPO 2015, ‘Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life’.
The publication, therefore, chose from the many submitted works to offer a glimpse, not exhaustive but critical, of the possible points of view on the matter. It’s a plural and pragmatic vision that invites us to reflect on ourselves and the future generations.

 

‘Discovering the Vernacular Landscape’ by John Brinckerhoff Jackson

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From the recent series ‘Enclosure’

‘landscape is not scenery, it is not a political unit; it is really no more than a collection, a system of man-made spaces on the surface of the earth. Whatever its shape or size it is never simply a natural space,a feature of the natural environment; it is always artificial, always synthetic, always subject to sudden or unpredictable change. We create them and need them because every landscape is the place where we establish our own human organization of space and time.It is where the slow, natural processes of growth and maturity and decay are deliberately set aside and history is substituted. A landscape is where we speed up or retard or divert the cosmic program and impose our own’. – John Brinckerhoff Jackson

Uncommon Ground edited by William Cronon

Theme Park Langford

From the series ‘Sign, Symbol and Nature’

Here are some Cronon quotes from ‘Uncommon Ground’

“But the trouble with wilderness is that it quietly expresses and reproduces the very values its devotees seek to reject. The flight from history that is very nearly the core of wilderness represents the false hope of an escape from responsibility, the illusion that we can somehow wipe clean the slate of our past and return to the tabula rasa that supposedly existed before we began to leave our marks on the world. The dream of an unworked natural landscape is very much the fantasy of people who have never themselves had to work the land to make a living–urban folk for whom food comes from a supermarket or a restaurant instead of a field, and for whom the wooden houses in which they live and work apparently have no meaningful connection to the forests in which trees grow and die. Only people whose relation to the land was already alienated could hold up wilderness as a model for human life in nature, for the romantic ideology of wilderness leaves precisely nowhere for human beings actually to make their living from the land.”

“This, then, is the central paradox: wilderness embodies a dualistic vision in which the human is entirely outside the natural. If we allow ourselves to believe that nature, to be true, must also be wild, then our very presence in nature represents its fall. The place where we are is the place where nature is not. . . .To the extent that we celebrate wilderness as the measure with which we judge civilization, we reproduce the dualism that sets humanity and nature at opposite poles. We thereby leave ourselves little hope of discovering what an ethical, sustainable, honorable human place in nature might actually look like.

“Worse: to the extent that we live in an urban-industrial civilization but at the same time pretend to ourselves that our real home is in the wilderness, to just that extent we give ourselves permission to evade responsibility for the lives we actually lead. . . .We work our nine-to-five jobs in its institutions, we eat its food, we drive its cars (not least to reach the wilderness), we benefit from the intricate and all too invisible networks with which it shelters us, all the while pretending that these things are not an essential part of who we are. By imagining that our true home is in the wilderness, we forgive ourselves the homes we actually inhabit. In its flight from history, in its siren song of escape, in its reproduction of the dangerous dualism that sets human beings outside of nature–in all of these ways, wilderness poses a serious threat to responsible environmentalism at the end of the twentieth century.”–by William Cronon, The Trouble with Wilderness

Claude Levi-Strauss quote

‘so it is not in any metaphorical sense that we are justified in comparing – as has so often been done – a town with a symphony or poem; they are objects of a similar nature. The town is perhaps even more precious than a work of art in that it stands at the meeting point of nature and artifice. Consisting , as it does, of a community of animals who enclose their biological history within its boundries and at the same time mould it according to their every intention as thinking beings, the town, both in its developement and its form, belongs simultaneously to biological procreation, organic evolution and aesthetic creation. It is at one and the same time an object of nature and a subject of culture ; an individual and a group; reality and dream; the supremely human achievement.’

Exhibit and Workshop/Project at Benetton Foundation

I will be exhibiting work from Fertile Geometry at the Benetton Foundation in Treviso near Venice, Italy opening on Dec 1,2012. I have also been invited by the Foundation and Steve Bisson of Urbanautica to participate and help organize a landscape  project  with 9 other photographers located in the rural areas near Venice.  Here is link to info regarding the workshop/project  and how to become involved.Here is a link to the Foundation Website

Here is fairly recent image from my ongoing Allotment Garden Project

Emmet Gowin on process

If I made pictures that featured people,  Emmet Gowin’s photographs would be  one  of my models.

From an interview with Emmet Gowin by Sally Gall for Bomb Magazine:

…..Everything that makes you an artist in a sense is the way things are understood; how they fit together in ways that have not been understood before. How can you discover the inherent value that’s hidden in things that you haven’t yet seen? It’s in that sense that you want to do something new. And you know that it’s chance that’s going to put those things together. Only chance can bring together new combinations in a way that is revolutionary. No one ever discovered anything really important intentionally.

and:

……You have to make a room inside your own ego for what you don’t yet understand, and hold open the possibility that this is what you’re actually looking for. And that then becomes a very personal matter rather than a universal one, because you can’t account for what other people don’t know. But you can acknowledge inside yourself those things which you did not perceive until the encounter forced you into a recognition. You cannot keep score of that for anyone else, but you can acknowledge transformation of your own perception by experience. When you find something about yourself, you don’t throw it away, it’s a treasure. It’s symbolically very important because it acknowledges a transformation in yourself.