I use digital imaging technology to reconfigure traditional renderings of the places I photograph. As a former photojournalist, I’ve found that the narrative potential of the documentary landscape photograph in a place without visible evidence of intervention is often overpowered by its ability to aestheticize a scene – yielding a sublime representation of place at odds with the photographer’s intention. This presents a problem – if there is no outwardly visible evidence of human intervention, but it is a part of the narrative of the landscape, how might that be depicted?
I photograph landscape sites with histories of human mediation and in compositing them, employ various imaging strategies to serve as visual metaphors for the interventions that have occurred there. In assembling a new representation of place, I strive to foreground the embedded human narrative into the printed image of the landscape. Large scale works include collaged backgrounds from site specific photographs combined with overlaid text using digital masking and mark-making to stand in as metaphors and references to the obscuring of histories of these sites. The content of the writings reference the location’s historical and present conditions, and the overwriting or erasure recalls the combative and competitive forces that comprise how the story of the location is translated.
These texts fracture, erode and vandalize the image of the landscape in a manner inspired by the lyrical marks of abstract expressionists and the collaging techniques of the pictures generation artists, while the indexical photographic information that makes up the entirety of the work roots the image in the documentary realm.