Monday, November 24, 2014

Window Proposal

Witch's Brew (Milk Lake Glacier) [proposal mock-up]

Witch’s Brew (Milk Lake Glacier)
for Window, Asheville, NC

“When President Taft created Glacier National Park in 1910, it was home to an estimated 150 glaciers. Since then the number has decreased to fewer than 30, and most of those remaining have shrunk in area by two-thirds.”[1]

In an effort to neutralize fears caused by global warming threats, society creates fictions designed to exorcise, to relieve, or to ignore the anxiety caused by these fears. The novel The Road, the movie Interstellar, and the television series The Walking Dead are recent examples of such narratives, where the arc of the apocalyptic story is designed to lead the audience to solace. Threat is avoided in each instance because it is created and resolved within a short time frame. This gives the readers/viewers only a glancing and safely disengaged non-encounter with fear and, in the end, leaves them with the feeling of reprieve.

Witch’s Brew (Milk Lake Glacier) presents a threat in the form of a specter, which resembles both the No Fear logo and a jack-o-lantern. However, this apparition does not bring reprieve; it becomes a harbinger for the real future of our planet.

The build-up of greenhouse gasses since the industrial revolution (circa 1760) has heavily contributed to the retreat and extinction of glaciers worldwide.[2] The Milk Lake Glacier, of Washington’s Cascade Mountain range, disappeared some time between 1988 and 1995. The appropriated photograph in Witch’s Brew (Milk Lake Glacier) was taken during Milk Lake Glacier’s retreat. The combination of the red tint, timeworn print, and layered graphic presents this glacier as a harrowing example, a specter, of climate change.

The final piece for Window Contemporary will utilize a re-photographed image of the Milk Lake Glacier. In enlargement, artifacts from printing process will be present in the image. As “photography is the inventory of mortality,”[3] this places the glacier further in the (dead) past.

[1] Glick, Daniel. "Global Climate Change, Melting Glaciers." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2014. ‹›.
[2] National Snow and Ice Data Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. ‹›.
[3] Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Picador USA, 2001. N. pag. 70

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