Into the Anthropocene
Part 1 - The Palouse
In 2016, those who determine such things officially agreed the Earth had entered a new age in its evolution. Termed the Anthropocene, it is defined as human-influenced, where human activity has caused irreversible changes to climate, ocean and landform. Anthropocene supplants the Holocene that began at the end of the last ice age about 11,000 years ago. Our new Earth Age is the starting point for this series of pictures that seeks to explore vast man-altered landscapes. I am both concerned and curious how repercussions from this turning point are impacting our earth, and feel a need to address it in an ongoing way.
To begin my exploration, I traveled to the Palouse grasslands - now wheat fields - of eastern Washington to immerse myself in a landscape terraformed and overlaid by commerce since before the dawn of the Anthropocene (actual starting point TBD). By highlighting this region, I hope to bring attention to difficult choices we face when considering exploitation or preservation of ecosystems.
The topography of the region is embellished by pattern and design across its surface - all byproducts of efficient farming required by constraints of the rolling terrain. It seemed a visual dance - or was it a struggle - between human imposed order and natural growth cycles, an imposition and collaboration at the same time. What was revealed I found compelling - strangely alien but completely human. By allowing human intervention to speak over the landscape itself in my images, I imagine a new landscape more of its Age.