How do we Shape the Natural World.

 

Featured image   Burtynsky, Edward. N.d Photograph “Where I Stand: A Behind the Scenes Look at Edward Burtynsky’s Photographic Essay, Water”. Youtube, Uploaded by MongrelTrailers, Published on Sep 4, 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmwgqxc-7eY, 

 

How do we shape the natural world Human occupation, impacts and effects?

My first impression of this question makes me think about how everyday actions cause impact to the environment. As a society we have manipulated, shaped and transformed the natural world to suit humanity’s lifestyle. Without even thinking about the consequences and harm we are causing. In most causes humans depleted natural resources that cant be replaced. For example water, forestry, animals and oil.Its come to the extreme where scientist are looking for other earth like planets that human can move to, due to exploiting natural resources on this planet, that it will no longer be suitable for life. This lifestyle is depicted in films and TV shows like, The 100, Wall-E, The Lorax, and many more. Showing the extremes  of resource manipulation and the effects. However there is now becoming huge awareness for environmental issues and people are coming up with innovative solutions to save the planet.

After reading the the 6th chapter in Nicholas Mirzoeff book, How to See the World, he illustrated some interesting ideas about the natural world. ( Mirzoeff, 233) Shows an a painting by George Wesley Bellows called Forty- two Kids ( 1902). This image shows a group of kids swimming in the river. The river is black because during that time, New Yorkers 6 million people pumped all there bodily waste into the water. During this time people aspired to live in a big city, therefor would turn a blind eye to the problem at hand. Mirzoeff also states that till this day, if there is a lot of rain, raw sewage is flushed into the rivers and people know to stay out of the water the next day. In my point of view its disgusting to hear people are living comfortably damaging a natural resource. Water is a resource we need to live. Humans cant go 3 days without water before they die. Its a need.

On the topic of water, Edward Burtynsky’s takes photos of altered landscapes. He is looking at how humans manipulate the world for the resource of water. His images are powerful and thought provoking about the interaction with humans and water. In this project he talks about the importance of water. “That once there is no water in a area, humans have to leave, in order to live.” that water is the ultimate thing for life and we need to treasure that. To use the environment of what we need without exploiting it.

Burtynsky, Edward. N.d Photographs  “Where I Stand: A Behind the Scenes Look at Edward Burtynsky’s Photographic Essay, Water”. Youtube, Uploaded by MongrelTrailers, Published on Sep 4, 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmwgqxc-7eY, 

Bringing this closer to home. In 2009 New Zealand artist  Rachael Rākena and Dr Brett Graham created an art sculpture to reflect the idea of manipulating water for our benefit. Their project was about the purposeful flooding, to make way for hydro- electric power. They highlight the manipulation and redirection on water ways to build communities. In Maori culture natural resources are very important to the culture. We should look after the environment that provides for us, what are we doing to give back?

Water is just one element of how humans impact on the environment. For my assessment I want to look at the idea of sustainability and potentially fast fashion and waste.

Works cited 
Burtynsky, Edward. “Where I Stand: A Behind the Scenes Look at Edward Burtynsky’s Photographic Essay, Water”. Youtube, Uploaded by MongrelTrailers, Published on Sep 4, 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmwgqxc-7eY
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Chapter 6, Changing the World”. How to See the World, Pelican, 2015, pp. 220-252.
Rākena, Rachel & Graham, Brett. “Āniwaniwa – a fine arts research project”. Youtube. Uploaded by kengapai Feb 16, 2009.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xljkl3Q5V3U

 

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