trauma lands

Trauma Lands is an investigative response to the function of landscape photography in American cultural story-telling.  Since its invention, photography has been used as a tool of wishful thinking, romanticizing, and subjugation and played heavily in shaping Westward Expansion and the concept of Manifest Destiny. This project visit sites of historic traumas, massacres, internments, significant land disruption, and cultural suppression around the US, focusing on sites that are intentionally misnamed or unmarked.  These places are often unassuming, bucolic, and overgrown but, like any place, contain an ineffable mystical quality if one looks hard enough. Referring to these images as ‘psychedelic’ would not be malapropos. In fact, they refer to a desire to allow the photograph to reveal something concealed within the landscape, previously unseen, an aura, a complexion, a suggestion. Though these color shifts and shapes are purely a result of technical manipulation, these images, do in fact, reveal something hidden within the film.  They are incidental collaboration with the medium.This project investigates ideas about the capacity of land to hold a connection to people and their stories, the role of landscape photography in creating the powerful and destructive myth of the old west, and the artists own connection to both trauma and American landscape.

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