10 February 2010

Expansive and Up-Close, Photographic Environmentalism

I recently confessed to being the owner of an Apple laptop. I therefore found this report on the newly established relationship between Apple and photographer Richard Misrach pretty interesting. Apple has made one of Misrach's remarkable images the default wall paper for their new iPad device. You can find the image here. I guess this makes Misrach's work the visual equivalent of Muzak?

More seriously, Misrach is an environmentalist. Rebecca Solnit has typically smart things to say about the politics of his work in her recent Storming the Gates of Paradise where she suggests of his beautifully expansive landscapes that they "challenged us to feel the conflicts of being fully present in a complicated world." I think she is right in that assessment. The irony, I suppose, is to imagine Ed Burtynsky or Chris Jordan making one of their disconcertingly tightly focused close-ups of discarded high-tech devices only this time using defunct iPads.

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