I’m about half way through reading “Rambunctious Garden, Saving Nature in a Post Wild World” by Emma Marris and think the work of Justin James Reed may be the perfect visual accompaniment, especially his recent project “The Real Unknown“. I’ve admired his work documenting a very contemporary version of the American landscape, with engineering and infrastructure as the proxy of the mundane architecture in the images of Louis Baltz and Robert Adams. His recent work is a strong move past the tongue and cheek irony of the new topographic photographers and a step towards visually addressing a multifaceted and much more uncertain world. There are interesting parallels between the ambiguous artistic representation of nature in Reed’s work, and the current ecological thinking in Marris’ book that looks to embrace emerging hybrid ecosystems. It’s a messy vision, one with uncertainty and continual change, one where the word landscape and its static scenic ideals have little resonance. An interview with Reed about the project is at “The Great Leap Sideways” and some positive thoughts about the athropocene from Marris in this NYT op ed.
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