“The lights in the photographs just look like the landscapes just a few millisecond after the [nuclear] explosions. I think the lands lightened by those flames are just beautiful and, as you have stated, the series includes a criticism about civilization, which is something we would like to share [with] people in Tokyo."
owner, Photo Gallery Momozono
I am a photographer working on a series of images and audio recordings which address the environmental impact of flaring, a process in which the unwanted gases from a Marcellus Shale well are burned off, resulting in roaring 50 foot flames. For the past five years, I have worked to document the visual impact of this process on the nighttime landscape. My photographs capture the eerie and surreal way in which these flames illuminate the landscape; the accompanying audio (recorded by artist Robert Buncher) captures the similarly surreal sound which envelops the viewer in the presence of these flames.
The work’s title, “Sacrificial Fire”, is a reference to the flame created in the act of flaring, the environmental sacrifice that we are making in the name of “energy independence” and the unexpectedly primal experience of encountering one of these wells in person.
I have been invited to show the work at Photo Gallery Momozono in Tokyo, Japan in July 2015. While this work has been shown regionally, with additional shows scheduled in late 2015, the body of work has never been taken to an international audience, despite its relevance outside of the United States. Fracking is an issue that is just beginning to impact Japan, as Japan Petroleum Exploration started drilling in the Akita Prefecture in the north of the country in April of last year.
The gallery was interested in my work because of its relevance and stated in his invitation: “The lights in the photographs just look like the landscapes just a few millisecond after the [nuclear] explosions. I think the lands lightened by those flames are just beautiful and, as you have stated, the series includes a criticism about civilization, which is something we would like to share [with] people in Tokyo.”
This show is impotant to me for several reasons. Personally, this will be my first solo show, as well as the first time my work is being shown outside of the United States. On a larger scale, this will give me the opportunity to use the work to start a dialogue with the citizens there on the issues of fracking and its greater impact, as well as the role that documentary photography and fine art play in environmental justice issues.
The funds that you donate to this campaign will allow me to cover the costs of preparing the work for an international show, which includes matting and presentation, promotional materials for the show, and the cost of safely shipping the work to Japan. The funds will also allow me to travel to Toyko in person, giving me an opportunity to personally engage the audience, including other photographers, academics, students and citizens on this very critical environmental issue. I hope you help me is starting this important international discussion.
Thank you for helping me take my work to Japan an starting this important international discussion!
Risks and challenges
The largest challenge is the short time frame I will have to prepare the work for the show. I have, however, already received promises of help from friends and colleagues. St. Mary's College of Maryland will be offering the matting services, and my friend and fellow artist, Kaoru Tohara, who has experience with showing work in Japan, has offered help with preparing the work for transportation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)