Manufactured Landscapes: A haunting and beautiful look at the terrain we humans create.


Science Scout twitter feed

Recently, I heard of a new documentary called "Act of God" by Jennifer Baichwal, that involved looking at individuals struck by lightning.

I haven't had a chance to check out this new film, but it did remind me of a previous movie that she had done called "Manufactured Landscapes," which highlighted the remarkable photography of Edward Burtynsky.

And whilst thinking about this, I've stumbled across Edward's great website which has some of the most striking imagery I've seen in a long time (Click on the images to get to a larger version and title on Edward's website).


Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire - a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.






As well, Mr. Burtynsky was the recipient of a 2005 TED prize, so you can also learn more by watching this TED video.

Oh, and Ben just reminded me that related to all of this, you can also check out this previous post.

More like this

A slow June at the Fair (see here for an explanation), but I'm popping in to share what constitutes a different sort of landscape image(s) below. Here's the first: The Citarum River in Indonesia. Here we have landscapes of garbage, scenes of environments overwhelmed with waste, with excess, with…
Accepting his 2005 TED Prize, photographer Edward Burtynsky makes a wish: that his images -- stunning landscapes that document humanity's impact on the world -- help persuade millions to join a global conversation on sustainability. Burtynsky presents a riveting slideshow of his photographs, which…
This morning, a plethora of Sizzle reviews will saturate Scienceblogs. I've no doubt that the film's science will be thoroughly dissected by more informed reviewers than I. So I'm going to steer clear of temperature trends and timetables, and instead consider how the film pitches its message.…
If our mainstream political discourse is to be believed, the U.S. 'doesn't make anything anymore.' We should all become 'knowledge workers', constantly reinvent our personal brand. Manufacturing--and the engineering it takes to support efficient manufacturing processes--are anachronisms. Hell,…

Wow. Those are really stunning. Simultaneously beautiful and frightening.

the Japanese(?) cafeteria reminds me of those Andy Warhol art pieces with multiple iterations of the same image.

The quarry with the ladders and the cubes looks like something Escher would have dreamed up.

The first two bring Tolkien's Angband to mind.

By Lisa the GP (not verified) on 20 May 2009 #permalink

Japanese cafeteria message: Don't wear a red shirt, or you'll sit along at lunch.

I feel Bad for the Lady in Red , she eats by her self :(

Some people prefer to eat alone. It's much better than the mindless prattle, like cigarette smoke, that is imposed by others to ruin a good meal.