Nathan Rochefort: American Nature
This week we are featuring projects seen at the Medium Photo Portfolio Reviews.
The stunning landscapes photographed by Nathan Rochefort a draw us in by their saturated colors and majestic vistas, but once he has our attention, we understand his approach to creating work about climate change. He uses a full-spectrum digital camera that allows for infrared and visible light, also referencing surveillance photographs created by the military. Rochefort states: Like the battlegrounds of war, nature is embroiled in a conflict, forced to react to the impact of humanity in lieu of its natural mechanisms. As it adapts, it becomes unfamiliar to us, increasingly perilous and unpredictable.
Nathan Rochefort is an artist based in Vermont. He uses photography to create speculative landscapes that explore ideas of environmental uncertainty and the future of the natural world. Nathan has studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Rochester Institute of Technology. His work has been exhibited in shows across the United States and has been reproduced in several publications.
In American Nature I travel across the United States, immersing myself in the protected and preserved landscapes of national parks, national forests, and nature preserves. At its core, this project is an exploration of our current era of climate change—an examination that reaches beyond my personal eco-anxiety to explore the collective anxieties of the planet and its ecosystems as they grapple with the magnitude of human-induced change.
Using a full-spectrum digital camera, the images of “American Nature” capture both visible and infrared light, revealing the unseen and blurring the boundary between the known and unknowable. These images, drenched in hues of cyan and crimson reference KODAK Aerochrome and its historic military use of surveillance, reconnaissance, and assessment of war-ravaged landscapes. Like the battlegrounds of war, nature is embroiled in a conflict, forced to react to the impact of humanity in lieu of its natural mechanisms. As it adapts, it becomes unfamiliar to us, increasingly perilous and unpredictable.
Earth is in a perpetual state of transformation, shaped by the powerful forces of volcanoes, tectonic shifts, glaciers, and erosion, which enact up it a slow violence, sculpting the planet over millennia. But the contemporary process of climate change is accelerated and impossible to ignore, even from the limited viewpoint afforded by the brevity of a human life. Just as we strive to adapt, so too will Earth.
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