Monday, May 4, 2009

Week Fourteen: To Sum up Nature

Coming to the end of the semester, looking back over a very stuffed note book of readings, there has been a lot covered. Topics that I would have never explored on my own, have given me a new prospective. By starting out reading the history of the definition of Nature and cultural view on Wilderness. It got me to start to think what is Nature and what defines wilderness, we soon found that this is no simple clear cut answer. That humans are not separate from nature we are part of it, and this was just the beginning of exploring how intertwined we are to nature. How nature has been depicted by artist varies greatly from Terry Evans photographs of the Prairie to Buckminster Fuller's domes ideas of utopia. 

Terry Evans,  From Prairie Images of Ground and Sky

However the topic that really hit home with me is the Biophilia Hypothesis.  The explanation to are built in desire of/for nature. Over all this class has made me look at my own work and the work of others in a different light. Why do we do what we do? This intense desire we each have to be in are environment, is depicted by what I have considered to be myself portrait and never realized it till now. However humans have done a really good job of messing up are relationship with nature till now, hopefully it not to late...

Self Portrait 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Week Thirteen: After Nature

This week we have looked at an past exhibit titled After Nature at the New Museum in NY. I find the title of the exhibit a bit contradictory if it is to be about what comes after nature it should be waste land, were nothing survives (just my opinion). Which brings us back to the question  what is nature which we have been trying to define all semester.  The exhibit is described as surveying a landscape of wilderness and ruins which have been darkened by uncertain catastrophe. Some of the pieces work for the exhibit if it's meant to be when nature takes back over earth and humans are know longer in conflict with nature.  How ever some of the pieces a bit contrived out of individual fantasy for example Allora and Calzadilla piece. Are we meant to be looking at an example of what has remained after we are gone and what has taken over is studying are culture that has been left behind?  I have to also criticise the way you view the online exhibition it is most frustrating when you not only have to browse up and down to see a piece but also side to side is just intolerable to me, it takes away from the enjoyment of viewing. I have yet to figure how the text relates to each piece of art and the way the links take to randomly to other pieces I found there to be 15 different lines on the art work and I am not sure how they relate to each other or even if they are to. I do how ever like William Christenberry's photography work of the Kudzu vine take over buildings, taking what was from nature back to nature. When man has lost or given up a battle with nature. I also was really really amused by August Strinberg's Celestograph, at that we can be fooled by nature because we took a picture of it. 

William Christenberry

August Strindberg

Monday, April 20, 2009

Week Twelve: Looking space into place

How the mind looks at the unknown or an unfamiliar landscape can be very disorienting. This weeks reading reminded me of Terry Evans work A Greenland Glacier: The Scales of Climate Change 2008 and how she talked about having a hard time relating to its scale without any human markers. The relationship to scale is an issue for the photographer and the viewer to figure out how to relate to. The viewer has to trust the photographer and their interpretation of the glacier, for all the viewer know these could be made up in a bath tub on a miniature scale to look like the real thing.

Terry Evans, Ice fjord leading to jakobshavn Glacier4

Terry Evans, Coming into Greenland