David Maisel’s work spans many different project over many years. One of his interests is in documenting through aerial photographs the impact that Man has on the landscape. The image above is from “The Mining Project” where he explores the effect of mining in “undoing of the landscape, in terms of both its formal beauty and its environmental politics.” Like other artists (eg Edward Burtynsky – previously reviewed in this blog), Maisel explores how aesthetic beauty can be created out of destructive and polluting processes.
Examining landscapes from The Great Salt Lake (above) to his project “The Forest” where he examines patterns created by floating logs and clear cut forests (below), Maisel draws us into unknown (and maybe unknowable) landscapes using images that “are charged by both their profane beauty and their ethically questionable nature.”
Below: Image from The Lake Project: “the stuff of California legend: a story of engineers, politicians, and big land owners working together to divert water to the rapidly growing desert city of Los Angeles, generating a thriving agricultural industry and an environmental disaster in the process.”