Christian Long

Edward Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes

In TED Talks on May 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Reflection by SUSIE C.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Edward Burtynsky:  Manufactured Landscapes

Canadian photographer, Edward Burtynsky, had struggled with his photography in trying to find an intriguing theme that he could dedicate his life to. He kept turning to “calendar style” landscape pictures until one day when he took a wrong turn on a Pennsylvania highway.

He found himself in a small mining town called Frackville. As he looked around, he realized that he needed to rethink landscape. He realized that he was very drawn to landscapes that we have transformed.

He chose to dedicate his career to transformed landscapes and how we have influenced them.

When he looks at the landscapes around him he realizes just how much our modern lifestyles depend on oil and other raw products, and he sees what affect that need has on our environment.

He hopes that his photographs can inspire people to recognized the impact that they have on the landscape around them. He admits that there is a certain beauty to these landscapes, but at the same time they incite fear, fear for what we are doing to our world.

Many of his photographs are inspired by his amazement of the urban density of China, especially in Shanghai. The city of Shanghai is growing at an amazing and unprecedented rate. The displacement of rural towns to large, dense urban areas is causing their footprint to become much larger.

His greatest hope for his TED prize wish is that his photographs will have a positive influence on the world, and help people to make their footprints smaller.


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