I just got back from a grueling, hot and humid eleven days of shooting new photographs in parts of the American Midwest. One time when I got out of the rent-a-car, my glasses actually steamed up, quite the surprise for this Alaskan boy living in Idaho. Dang. My wife was a great sport about it, as she was my driver and sounding board for various topics.
I am the lucky recipient of an Arts & Humanities Fellowship project on Global Climate Change (from my progressive colleagues Boise State University, thank you). This is another aspect of a broader project that will encompass other parts of our country and America's role with global climate change. It's been quite the wake-up call for what I've been seeing along the way, and what I'll be sharing with my photography.
For some reason, I find myself drawn back to a photograph titled "1491" that I made nearly twenty years ago. It often has me pondering the stars, wondering what would have happened had we Native Americans evolved how we were meant to evolve, in a holistic manner in harmony with the Earth. I found myself simply wondering how humanity would have evolved had the humans indigenous to the Americas imposed their cultural practices onto the European immigrants wanting to live in our country. Imagine that for a moment. Forcing the new European immigrants to learn our languages and cultural practices in order to live here. Can you imagine a world not in the midst of a human induced ecological meltdown?
From a strategic standpoint, it is very demanding of my time, which is why a year-long Fellowship is perfect for this project, which involves travel to various sites, such as the coal fired power plants at various parts of the country. This is proving to be more challenging than anticipated, by the way. I really love the idea of using photography as a key aspect of this project, because on one level it is very straightforward, but on another level entirely, it has the ability to be mysterious and speak to a very intuitive part of one's perceptions.
The Coffee Quest
I keep myself amused with a Coffee Quest whenever I travel. It has been a nice diversion when a bit of indulgence is in order, especially since I never drank coffee until I was in my 40's; I was more of a tea kind of guy. If there was no decent coffee to be had at the hotels off the beaten paths (who wants to stay in a hotel near a coal fired power plant?), my emergency coffee press came out of hiding.
OK, back to work; roll up those sleeves and get that cool infrared film processed and Kodachrome shipped off to Kansas! And sip some coffee.