The Atlantic Cities:
"Hunting Detroit’s Masterworks of Architecture Before They Go Extinct
JOHN METCALFE. Oct 11, 2013
Though Detroit has recently been looking like it was hit by a convoy of mile-wide firenados, there remain signs of architectural grandeur illustrating why it was once known as the Paris of the Midwest. Perhaps nowhere is this faded beauty more palpable than in the large-format photography of Philip Jarmain, a Vancouver native who’s spent three years shooting Detroit’s sublime edifices, sometimes just months before they were wiped out by bulldozers.
Jarmain may be from Canada, but he has century-old family ties to Detroit and extreme respect for the place. “At one point this was probably the most important city in the world in terms of innovation, craftsmanship, and manufacturing,” he says, adding that one of his childhood heroes was Henry Ford. “It was just such an incredible city in the early 1900s, and obviously things went horribly sideways at some point.”
When the 41-year-old advertising photographer started hearing disturbing rumblings in 2008, he decided to venture south to document the city’s Art Deco and Neo-Classical past before something horrible happened (well, even more horrible than the riots and urban decay). So he hooked up with local historian Sean Doerr of Buildings of Detroit fame, and set out to locate what he calls the “iconic Detroit architectural masterpieces” hidden in a crumbling labyrinth of 80,000 to 100,000 abandoned buildings.”
Photo: Eastown Theatre. Phillip Jarmain
The Atlantic Cities:
"A Biker Chronicles His Trip From London to Hong Kong Via Instagram
Sara Johnson. March 12, 2013.
A week ago, Rob Lutter had about 3,800 followers on Instagram. Today, he has over 29,000.
Lutter’s overnight fame, fueled by coverage on Mashable, The Huffington Post and CNN, is understandable. The 29-year-old has spent the last 19 months biking across Europe into Asia, and has been Instagramming shots of his travels. I caught up with him over email from Hong Kong, where he is taking a breather to come up with some more funds (“I am nearly bankrupt,” he says.) Initially self-funded, he has raised some money through the website GoFundMe as well as for several charity organizations for the trip so far.”
Photo: Rob Lutter
Seeing Earth As Modern Art
Juliana Jimenez Jaramillo. Dec 26, 2012
It’s easy to imagine these photos of Earth hanging in a modern art exhibition. Taken via satellite, these images are part of a series called Earth As Art from the U.S. Geological Survey and offer “fresh and inspiring glimpses of different parts of our planet’s complex surface.” They are deserts, islands, vineyards, and river deltas, rich with vibrant and unexpected colors that bring to light the weird shapes and uncanny patterns that make up Earth’s landscapes. “
Photo: Silt from the Geba River drains into Guinea-Bissau’s shores in West Africa, creating intricate patterns in the shallow Atlantic Ocean waters, January 2000.
NASA/USGS EROS Data Center.
“Visualizing the Ends of Oil
Mark Feldman. 4.26.2012
By now most of us understand that oil is powering the rapid transformation of our planet, enabling us to extract resources, intensify agriculture, manufacture goods, and transport people and objects at unprecedented rates and in unprecedented quantities. But what remains more difficult to grasp is the impact — the scale — of this transformation; and I would argue that this difficulty in comprehending profound change is to some crucial degree related to the difficulty of visualizing it. To be sure, photographs of the landscapes of oil infrastructure circulate widely in newspapers and magazines, but these images are usually pegged to a specific event (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon explosion), or else they are intentionally generic (stock images of derricks and pipelines that could be anywhere from Kansas to Kazakhstan). How then might we get beyond the over-familiar images and develop new ways of visualizing the era of oil that began in the mid 19th century with the drilling of a well in central Asia and has since reshaped the world? How might new visualizations help us understand better the effects of oil — or more accurately, the effects of our dependence on oil? And how might new visualizations spur action — and activism?
These questions gained new urgency for me at a conference on art and environment held last fall at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. Like many scholars, I’ve long contended that the meaning of art should be open-ended, that the artist’s intention matters less than the viewer’s reception, that all we can really ask art to do is to set in motion challenging aesthetic and cognitive experiences. But as I listened to artists and designers working in the broad and evolving field of environmental art, those convictions began to shift. I found myself bringing a range of different questions and expectations to environmental art. If the planet is at stake — I don’t say this lightly — is indeterminate art a viable option? Or do the times call for something more didactic?
The Altered Landscape
The photographs of Edward Burtynsky and Chris Jordan together make a good starting point for this investigation. Large in scale, saturated with color and often beautiful, their photographs depict scenes of petroleum industry, infrastructure and waste that few of us will ever experience in person. In their very different ways Burtynsky’s and Jordan’s work underscores the power of images to attract audiences and to inspire strong reactions.
Yet our reactions will inevitably be more emotional than intellectual, and for this reason their work underscores as well the limits of photography as an instrument of education and catalyst for change. For while the formal beauty and strangeness of an image like Burtynsky’s Ferrous Bushling #18 might make us pause and reflect, and ask questions, we will need additional information to translate that moment of reflection into environmental insight — to answer those questions in meaningful terms”
Via: Design Observer
Photo: Edward Burtynsky, Ferrous Bushling #18; Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1997; from Oil. [Photograph © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto/Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowity, New York]