It seems that Edward Burtynsky has popped up on my radar a couple of times just recently. First, a colleague recommended a showing of his film Manufactured Landscapes, and then he appeared again as I was looking through the TED back catalogue as I followed up a coaching conversation.
Burtynsky photographs the impact of heavy industry on our landscape. His images are large format, incredibly detailed and absolutely stunning. Here he shows a stream polluted with nickel; incredibly beautiful and, I imagine, deadly.
Burtynsky seeks to place the modern age of man in perspective. On his website he says:
"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."
Spurred on by images like these, the potential for dialogue is great. You might imagine that Burtynsky does his work in spite of the industrialists yet, as he says in his TED video, he can only do this work with the agreement of the plant and mine owners. There are (at least) two sides to every story.