Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Google the word and all sorts of sorts of things come up. There is also an exhibition by the name in New York City:

“Ecotopia: The Second I.C.P. Triennial of Photography and Video” at the International Center of Photography - through Jan. 7.

“Ecotopia” is the center’s second “triennial of photography and video,” and like the first, it is purposefully germane. Its predecessor, “Strangers,” in 2003, explored the confusion of the post-9/11 world as it struggled with religious fundamentalism. Since the losses inflicted by the Indonesian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, a fear of political chaos has been at least equaled by a fear that the natural world itself is fatally compromised.

As Al Gore notes toward the end of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the film in which he charts the grim, imminent future of global warming, terrorism is not the only, nor necessarily the most urgent, problem confronting us today.

“Ecotopia” might be described as “An Inconvenient Truth” in exhibition form. It is a tale of beauty and devastation told by nearly 40 photojournalists and artists. Their viewpoints vary, as do their subjects and forms, but you rarely escape a sense of nature’s vast, incalculable richness or of photography’s ability to do it justice. There may be no greater meeting of subject and medium.


It's always an odd thing when people make beautiful photos of ugly things. That is not what all of what the exhibit is - but some of it - as you will see at the link.

I do mostly photograph things that are conventionally beautiful - like wildflowers or beaches. I edit out the trash, the inconvenient run down building or new development project. Sometimes it becomes quite a challenge - to get the beach photo without the condominum.

It helps having the National Wildlife Refuges, the State and National Parks. But those things seem so small in comparison to the developed land. In Florida - the St. Joe company (apparently friends of Jeb Bush) has been given much land to develop. They often have a marketing campaign that shows the land (or some land) in pristine condition - before development as a way to sell the land post-development. It seems really messed up.

If I were in charge of the world - there would not be development on the shoreline. It would all be free space for the public and for crabs and whatever else. Not only would this be beneficial to wildlife - it would save tons of reconstruction money. Resorts and houses built on sandbars are ridiculous and beaches restricted to local residents are one of my pet peeves in life. There would always be competition to be the closest property to the shore - whatever that was.

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