In contrast to Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter, the photographer Mark Klett started showing evidence of people in his pictures of the natural world: a shadow, a cup, a car, a hiking boot. We all know that human beings are part of the natural world, but mainstream American culture has developed in lots of ways that separate us from that truth. Klett wasn’t interested in presenting an idealized view of nature, but he experienced so much pleasure and awe on his road trips and hikes that he wanted to reassert not only the value of the wilderness but also our right to experience it firsthand.

Several bodies of work in Earth Now are about reestablishing a connection with the world around us. Chris Enos’s painted photographs from the Gaia series are meant to be hung low on a wall and are proportioned so that it feels like you can walk into the scene (please don’t). Subhankar Banerjee, who is known for his work in the Arctic, decided to photograph his home environs near Santa Fe. Much of Victor Masayesva, Jr.’s work deals with his relationship with ancestral lands in the Southwest. I am hoping to use some of these pictures to show young people that “the environment” isn’t something abstract, but that it is right under their feet, it is flowing in and out of their lungs.

What are some of the ways you connect with the amazing world around you, un-Edenic as it may be?


Nancy Brokaw
Posts: 4
Reply #2 on : Mon March 28, 2011, 15:47:58
I started walking to work when I lived in NYC -- it took me about an hour and most of the trip was through Central Park. But then I moved. After a too-long period of driving (also an hour), I got a job in Philadelphia, where I live, and started walking again. It's the best way to see the world.

Do you know Will Self's Psychogeography book? He makes epic walks -- like walking from JFK to his hotel in Chelsea when he comes into NYC. Sweet.
Katherine Ware
Posts: 4
Connecting with the Land
Reply #1 on : Wed March 23, 2011, 09:25:09
I am used to talking to myself, so I will just go ahead and comment on my own blog posting. I have a backyard for the first time in decades and I am getting acquainted with it bit by bit, crawling around on the ground and digging, seeing what kinds of rocks are there, how many goat's head thorns I can get stuck with. I love it. And I have started walking to work a few times a week, keeping the earth under my feet as I travel. A reminder of space and time and distance and that not everything has to happen instantly. It takes me about an hour.