This portfolio is about global climate change. It's also about humans caught up in a tangled mess where they feel like they're just living like they always have. And DAMN, how can it be that our cars hurt the planet? We get in our pretty cars and run our errands, how can that be huring the planet? That's crazy, man. It's also about "Raven" from the NW Caost trickster transformation creation stories. Shouldn't we be giving up coal fired power plants and gasoline powered cars? If we know they're wrong but still use them, what does that say about us? Hmm. White Raven may have some clues...Copyright Larry McNeil 2007, all rights reserved
Our "Blue Marble." We're not really bonehead humans are we? How can be be boneheads if we can witness the profound beauty of seeing our planet from outer space?While researching the most viewed image of our home planet, I learned that it was the NASA photograph "Blue Marble." This lithograph is the work of a true master in that the color photograph was made with 4 plates (Cyan, Magenta, Blue & Black), all perfectly alighned to make a color lithograph that looks like a photograph.Copyright Larry McNeil 2007, all rights reserved
According to our Tlingit creation myth, raven was white in anceint times, and stole the sun from a greedy aristocrat who kept light from the people. His beautiful white feathers turned black upon going throgh a smoke hole in the ceiling. He is by naure a transformer. It means that Raven paid a price for his heroic act; he went from white to black... I think he has an affinitey for bonehead humans, and perhaps believes we can transform ourselves too, but who knows? Maybe he's just amused watching us do our crazy stuff. In the light. Copyright Larry McNeil 2007, all rights reserved
In the here and now, we live in a "demented coal paradox." This means that we pretty much know how ghastly the environmental ruin is going to be in the near future, yet we unleash more CO2 emissions from burning mountains of coal anyway. I suspect that it means that we humans may be walking talking paradoxes, but who knows?All I really know is that we may need new fashion accessories for the immediate future to go with those darling coal plants. I was forced away from this coal powered power plant by their security guards within minutes. Their security guard deleted photographs from my digital camera. I was on public property and this was a violation of my rights as a photographer. Copyright Larry McNeil 2013, all rights reserved
The spruce root gas mask uses some of the ancient patterns from our Chilkat woven materials. Part of this was a very intuitive act; our forests sustained us for thousands upon thousands of years and now we need the trees more than ever. Maybe this is kind of an appeal to the creator...I'm imagining standing in front of people born after 2031, and trying to explain to them why we did what we did, knowing full well that it would unleash hell for them. Photograph Copyright Larry McNeil 2013, all rights reserved
I use coal powered electricity too, but like other people, feel kind of victimized about not having much choice in the matter. It's not as if consumers can flip a switch and choose wind or solar power instead of coal. This coal plant was in the American Midwest, but could've been in China, India or Europe too. The industrical scale was startlingly massive and freight trains of coal moved into the plant nearly every day. My eyes were burning from the CO2 emissions after only a few minutes of exposure. It's definitley demented. Photograph Copyright Larry McNei 2013, all rights reserved.
I was asked to participate in a portfolo exhcange titled "Animal Connections." After meditating about the idea for a few days, it seemed to me that the one animal I felt closest to was the sassy raven...Part of the folio exchange required us to use this format; the paper was meant to fold into thirds so that the composition was divided into thirds. It got me to thinking about landscapes and it occured to me that mine was more of a skyscape.Copyright Larry McNeil 2007, all rights reserved
I still have an affinity for writing on my prints I think this originates from being a kid and drawing mustaches and sunglasses on people and using cartoon baloons to have them saying offbeat stuff. It kind of morphed into a kind of magazine graffitti where photos would take on a new life and the people would be riffing back and forth with each other. The text here says: Carobn footprints suck flap your wings insteadAs you can see, I also have an affinity for old pickup trucks. I learned how to drive in an old beat up pickup truck on the backroads of Alaska.Copyright Larry McNeil 2007, all rights reserved
Raven soars above it all. I really like the clean blue sky juxtaposed with the "carbon footprints suck" mindset...
This was interesting because the creative proces here was very intuitive. I was working on global climate change ideas before it was a clarified conscious strategy for myself. I think that artists are like that; they sometimes make work subconsciously, and aren't sure why they made it to look a certain way. I do like how various parts are juxtaposed with each other, such as the metaphor of power lines, sky full of hope and a hand amongst the clouds.It's part of the City of Boise Art Collection.Copyright Lary McNeil 2006, all rights reserved
This was a challenging photo to make becaus I'd previsualized most of the look before picking up a camera. As it turend out, I was only able to get the look of my hand in a studio with strobes and high resolution film camera. These were the days of lower resolution cameras and I needed something that could capture a more nuanced look. I wanted an animal camouflaged skin that was very subtle and to make it all purple to kind of stand out against the blue sky. It was kind of tricky to get the cloud to waft in and out of the scene and have it feel natural, because questioning notions of nature is really what this print is all about. Copyright Larry McNeil 2006, all rights reserved
The smoke from forest fires was so thick and bad that we had numerous "Orange Alerts" which means that it's not safe to breathe the air. Wait a minute, did they say it's not safe to breathe the air ouside our house? It was literally a dark day when I read that.Oh and by the way, this forest fire stuff is global now...Copyright Larry McNeil 2013, all rights reserved
Chilkat particulate mask. Yes, you do need one. My nephew said this looked kinda Steampunk to him, but i's just an "Off the shelf Chilkat mask."Copyright Larry McNeil 2013, all rights reserved
The smoke was so thick that you could look directy at the orange sun without having to squint. It never did get completely light out that day, kind of like when raven had to reclaim the daylight.Copyright Larry McNeil 2013, all rights reserved
Our power lines come from coal, which fittingly enough, darkens the day. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have regular daylight. Okay raven, do your thing. Copyright Larry McNeil 2013, all rights reserved
If you live by the ocean I'd suggest a good pair of boots. Or maybe a boat tied to a parking meter or something. The sea level is rising because too many fish are peeing in the ocean. Either that or glaciers are melting. Oh yes, Antarctica, Greenland and nearly everything else that's frozen is melting too. Oops. Back in the summer of 2010 my son and I were at the glacier just outside of Juneau and he plucked this chunk of glacier ice out of the water and was looking at it backlit from the sun. It looked cool. Copyright Larry McNeil 2011, all rights reserved
One of the glaciers we visited in Alaska had receded over 10 miles in a couple of decades. I walked over to where it used to be and asked, "Hey, where'd it go?" The park ranger said we'd have to rent a boat and go 10 miles if we wanted to see it.So who's the culprit in all this? Whoever drives cars I guess. Time to find that particulate mask that matches your car.Copyright Larry McNeil 2011, all rights reserved
In spite of this print being about human quirks, I do like the magical glow of the ice and how a teenager found it. The photo of the ice was made with a cell phone camera, which is kind of cool in a pinch, but I prefer DSLR cameras.I'm not sure what it is that fascinates me about 1959 cadilacs. They're in a lot of my work. Maybe it has to do with American ideals and perceptions of style, luxury and helping to set trends for the rest of the world. Even if it did lead to a most peculiar place. Copyright Larry McNeil 2011, all rights reserved
Our Flying Saucer got grounded by a snow blizzard. Don't you hate it when that happens? This was made for a print exchange with our photography students; I was thinking about why so many industrialist don't care about the dangers of global climate change. Shot with a cell phone camera. Copyright Larry McNeil Larry McNeil 2010, all rights reserved
I wanted to make photos that were made mostly just walking around my hometown of Juneau in the winter. It's kind of a visual journal with notes to myself from the day. It brought back memories of how comfortable it felt to be home in the snow with a camera and being surrounded by the art of my fellow Tlingits.Your camera is all wet from the snow, but who cares, there are cool photos to be had. Including a few evening scenes of boats at the harbor with black cod gear, just like we used in the Aleutians.
Sometimes we like to just walk around and notice the small stuff. Like finding a disc of ice in a dog bowl and using it for a lens.
Ravenchrome film to capture a raven in full attack mode, wings set for supersonic flight. Finding a totem carved by cousin Nathan Jackson, which has a mustache just like mine. Yes, this is my hometown.
The eagle hat belongs to the Sealaska Heritage Foundation and I was photographing it for them as part of one of their projects. Yes, I'm still a "hired gun" that they bring back home every now and then. The reflection in the water reminds me of the boats I used to fish on with our dad in Kodiak and the Aleutians; boats were home for a long time too...I also love the color scheme and the feel of water, just like home.
Photojournalists use the term "Bearing Witness" when they capture scenes around the world. It has to do with a yearning for telling a truthful story.Raven tells our mythological creation story. If Raven is part of our linear narrative, it only seems fitting that he'd be there at parts that have to do with ruination too, not just creation. Coal powered power plant with meaga-power lines. The air was thick and it burned your lungs if you stayed too long.
Raven is a black silhouette as the human chokes for air, which could be a compelling metaphor for how humans and animals struggle for survival in these times. Since raven is a trickster, he's also likely mildly amused at how humans put themselves in this most peculiar circumstance with the burning of mountains of coal. In our Northwest mythology, raven has always had to do with the opposing forces of positive and negative, good and bad. As a mythological changeling, he started out as white, but changed to black in order to save the world from darkness.
This scene was photographed with black and white infrared film so as to help capture the clouds of carbon emissions from the monumental smokestacks. It gave it an overly grainy look which seems to fit the idea of bearing witness to something as notable as global change.