Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Postcards From The Future

Some photo stuff. The massive infrastructure that keeps goods on the shelves and lights on is almost invisible to us, so that gave photographer Shuli Hallak an idea for a theme:

“The overarching theme in my work is to look at the invisible networks of systems we all depend on but of which we know so little,” Hallak explained. “I started to think about other hidden infrastructures that run our lives, and energy is a huge one—and complicated, too.”

“I am drawn to the beauty of these places. On the surface, these networks are mesmerizing because they show an intricate system of highly choreographed parts that we constructed,” said Hallak. But she’s also finely attuned to the reality of what she sees. “Witnessing the sheer magnitude of destruction, the explosion of mountains and drilling 17,000 feet into the earth, deeper than we’ve ever dared before, for the extraction of fossil fuels to keep our energy addiction well-oiled, was impressive. We have figured out unfathomable solutions to feed our bottomless hunger.”

And it works. When you see these photographs, you realize how dependent we are on this massive infrastructure, and how fragile it all is. All to often we feel that civilization is conjured up by magic, and we don't realize what it takes to achieve what we take for granted.

Shuli Hallak: Photographs of energy use including coal, oil, and solar power (PHOTOS) (Slate)

And since we're on the subject, here are some photographs of Hashima Island, a.k.a. Gunkanjima, an abandoned island off Japan recently featured in the movie Skyfall and in the Life After People specials.

Gunkanjima: Ruins of a Forbidden Island

Makes you realize how transient everything is and how quickly things fall apart, even seemingly permanent things. Civilization requires constant maintenance and upkeep. Most of the buildings that humanity has ever constructed are long gone. And the paragon of abandoned cities - photographs from Chernobyl:



UPDATE: Chinese Architecture, Old and New (photos) (The Atlantic)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Very nice. Imagine what you need just to construct an entire building. Then what you need to maintain it and keep it running.

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