Manufactured landscapes

Rolf Coppens
August 29th 2007

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Edward Burtynsky is a photographer that makes pictures scarred or altered landscapes, changed by industrial activities. His work shows the disappearance of nature and the appearance of a new sort of nature. To me, the images look amazing, althought I suppose I have to feel bad about the pollution and the destruction. A perfect example of next nature confusion.

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In 2006, Burtynsky was the subject of an award-winning documentary film, Manufactured Landscapes. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country's massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky's photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste. See also Sleeping Garden.

Links: Site of the movie \ More pictures

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Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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