Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Wonderfully Filthy

From one of the podcasts I listen to I just discovered Edward Burtynsky. He takes these amazing photographs of industrial landscapes - really scary post-apocalyptic images of oil refineries, chopped up cargo ships, etc. Take a few minutes to look through some of the images.

One of the side effects of working on X-Plane scenery for the last few years is that it has made me look a lot more closely at the world. Once you try to recreate the world on a computer (and watch your digital creation fall way, way short) you realize how much intricacy and detail every-day phenomena have.

So when I saw Burtynsky's photos I immediately thought "he sees the complexity and beauty* and sadness of industrial landscapes the same way we do!"

* Beauty? I am not suggesting that the SOCAR oil fields are beautiful, a particularly good idea, or something I want more of. But I think that there can be a poetry in the image - perhaps a poetry of despair.

1 comment:

Joel Seligmann said...

And certainly there would be no planes nor X-Plane nor this thoughtful and excellent blog without the slimy filthiness that is oil.

All those car graveyards could easily be mirrored by the vast airplane graveyards.

Burtynsky depicts the ugly vistas of man's oily industrial landscapes as a scourge that cries out for a solution. Nonetheless, we rely on the ancient substance so much that the only real solution to our addiction is the complete depletion of all sources and reserves. It's one of the myriad paradoxes of our modern existence.