The Florida Everglades originated as a pristine natural system relying on water slowly flowing from the Kissimmee River to Lake Okeechobee, where it then entered the grassy expanses stretching to the Florida Bay. State agencies deemed the land an “untamable wasteland,” mandating its drainage for human establishment and economic pursuits. It took a century to gain control over the water’s ceaseless flow, restraining its movement to canals and halting it entirely with dikes. Human manipulation of the natural watershed negatively impacted numerous ecosystems, parching and polluting them for our gain. We are now dedicating billions of dollars to undo our past mistakes.
In response to this history, I have produced a series of composite images that blend archival photographs of the Floridian landscape, sourced primarily from Florida International University digital repository, with my own imagery sourced from the Everglades, as well as satellite images of the region as means of referencing the large-scale manipulations that have occurred over time. The saturated color treatment of my prints references the technology of False Color Infrared images, used to highlight specific features of a landscape where differing colors reflect the exploitation, introductions, and manipulations imposed on the lands.
My prints take the form of fabricated fields intended to visualize the Anthropocene - our current geological age classified by human activities impacting the Earth’s systems - while attempting to expose our colonial obsession with restraining and mastering nature for our benefit. Ultimately, the viewer is left to ponder the human impact on the unique, invaluable ecosystem of the Everglades, a National Park and World Heritage Site.