NEWS HUB

Why Manufactured Landscapes' message about consumption is more important than ever

CBC Arts

David Suzuki, Sophie Hackett and Darrell Varga look back at the award-winning 2006 documentary.

At their best, movies have the power to challenge our perspectives and help us see the bigger picture. It's hard to think of a more literal example than Manufactured Landscapes. Directed by Jennifer Baichwal — and featuring spectacular images from Canadian photographer Ed Burtynsky — the film takes us to some of humanity's most mesmerizing industrial landscapes. From a factory in China that employs some 23,000 people to world's largest dam, which has uprooted more than 1 million people since it was built, it's a stunning exploration. 

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The Filmmakers airs this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC Television, or stream it at cbc.ca/watch. After the episode, stick around to see this week's feature presentation, Manufactured Landscapes.

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An Audain Art Museum Special Exhibition EDWARD BURTYNSKY: THE SCARRED EARTH

By Rebecca Wood Barrett
Whistler Traveller

“Many of these works are quite large, usually a minimum of one metre high and two metres wide,” says Darrin Martens, the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky chief curator of the museum. “When you’re looking at these works you become in some ways very immersed in the situation. You are part of that experience of witnessing.”

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Edward Burtynsky – Interview, Part III

By Kevin Raber
The Luminous Landscape

Prints, Studio and Color Lab

Kevin Raber and Edward Burtynsky discuss one of his prints

My interview with Ed Burtynsky continues with this final segment.  This is the part I enjoyed the most as Ed and I talk about his prints and why and how he makes such big prints.  For Ed, it’s all about the print.  As he explains when looking through the viewfinder he is composing for the look.  But, when the print is made the magic comes alive as the most minute details become visible. 
I call it immersive imaging and for me, it is where the viewer looks at a large print from a distance and then finds something of interest and moves closer and closer to the print discovering new things in the print along the way.  Ed calls it the six-inch test.  The bottom line -Ed’s prints need to be viewed large and inspected close up. There are treasures to be seen in his photographs.

All of Pt. III here.

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The Stunning Car Photos That Capture the 20th Century

By Alastair Sooke
BBC Culture

As well as documenting the production of the automobile, Autophoto examines the impact of the motorcar upon the landscape: the exhibition is full of images of seemingly endless highways and gridlocked roads. For instance, a photograph from 2004, by the Canadian Edward Burtynsky, presents the awesome, spiralling form of a complex highway interchange in Shanghai, in the manner of a Romantic painting depicting the grandeur of the ‘sublime’ natural world. 

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Edward Burtynsky – Interview, Part II

By Kevin Raber
The Luminous Landscape
 

Ed's Camera Gear

Continuing my interview with Ed Burtynsky, we talk about every photographer's favorite subject, cameras. Ed shares with us his evolution of camera systems from 4x5 and 8x10 film to the Hasselblad 100 mega-pixel digital camera. Much of Ed’s work is shot from high altitude, and he has a few stories about how that is accomplished. You’ll also hear why during the film days Ed decided to shoot his work with color negative film. He shares his evolution of color printing and how he went from a hybrid color workflow to his eventual full digital workflow.

Ed’s projects are related to man's effect on our world. One of his most noted projects is one about water. I have included links below to clips of the watermark project. These short clips and the film itself will get you thinking. The same as his Landscape Of Oil project.

All of Part II here.

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Edward Burtynsky – Interview, Part I

By Kevin Raber
The Luminous Landscape
 

Throughout the years there is one photographer who I have admired, and that is Edward Burtynsky.  He’s a landscape photographer like most of us, but he’s a different kind of landscape photographer.  He focuses on landscapes that man has changed.  His work is stunning. It draws a viewer in, and your eye wants to explore all the details.

Edward is a true photographer because for him taking the photo is one part, but making the print is the second and the most important part.  His prints are large, very large.  Because of this, he has had to use cameras that would allow him to print big.  He’s worked with 8x10 cameras and, as of lately, the Hasselblad H6D 100.

All of Part I here.

 

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Edward Burtynsky's Striking Images of India's Salt Pans

By Ellyn Kail

Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky describes the terrain of the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India, as “scorched,” “cracked,” and “parched.” The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright compares it to cat litter. Between October and June of every year, the Agariya people live along the salt pans, harvesting salt in temperatures so extreme they must work barefoot.

Burtynsky created the 31 photographs in Salt Pans over ten days in the Little Rann of Kutch. He was there in April of 2016, towards the end of salt production season, which runs from October through June each year. He documented the well-worn land by helicopter, hovering several hundred feet above the ground.

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#UofTGrad17: Three things you should know about honorary grad Edward Burtynsky

By Romi Levi
University of Toronto News
 

Acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky’s fascination with industrial landscapes has taken him around the world, from the nickel tailings of Sudbury, Ont., to the salt pans of Gujarat, India.

The striking images he captures provide a visual commentary on human achievement and its often negative impact on the environment.

Today, Burtynsky will receive a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, “for his excellence in the arts, as a Canadian photographer who has had a profound influence on society through his vivid portrayal of environmental issues.” He is among 16 people being recognized with honorary degrees by the University of Toronto in 2017.

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A look at our Scarred Earth

By Cathryn Atkinson
Pique News Magazine
 

Famed Canadian fine art photographer Edward Burtynsky is in Toronto at the Telus "Our Planet, Our Future" panel with other distinguished speakers, including former astronaut Roberta Bondar and Dianne Saxe, the environmental commissioner of Ontario.

In his speech, part of which is shared on social media, he asks how many in the audience know the definition of Anthropocene, the era in which we find ourselves.

For those who don't, it refers to the geological age in which human activity dominates climate and the environment.

Burtynsky has spent three decades bearing witness to the Anthropocene as an artist, whether it is his photographs depicting the impact of the Three Gorges Dam in China, or the extraction of bitumen near Fort McMurray.

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Burtynsky photo exhibit set to open at Audain Art Museum

By Alyssa Noel
Whistler Question

With a skilled eye, honed from years of practice, renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has the ability to make the appalling beautiful.

From a mountain of discarded tires to tailings ponds and open pit mines, upon first glance the viewer often doesn’t know what they’re looking at until they delve a little deeper.

Burtynsky’s work will be on display in Whistler through the summer at the Audain Art Museum as part of The Scarred Earth, a collection of 32 photographs.

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Edward Burtynsky – Industrial Abstract

By Ezrha Jean Black
Artillery Magazine

Edward Burtynsky’s principal subject over the last decade or so has been the industrial landscape, or more specifically, large-scale, frequently aerial views of major industrial operations, grids, excavations, or industrial waste sites. The photographs in his current show at Von Lintel continue in this vein – part of a larger project Burtynsky has titled (not surprisingly), Anthropocene. What is fascinating about the current body of work is that it returns us to the roots of visual abstraction, even the notion of landscape itself. The history of 20th century abstraction begins in landscape (e.g., Picasso’s proto-Cubist Horta landscape studies; and arguably before that). It could be argued that our entire notion of visual abstraction, of visual description, is rooted in our apprehension and appreciation of landscape as referring to a larger notion of environment and exterior surroundings generally. It is the way we define a world within our scope and grasp; also our place in it.

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The World From Above – An Interview with Edward Burtynsky

By Anna Maria Burgstaller
Widewalls

The Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky became known for documenting the transformation of nature through mankind with his breathtaking large-format photographs of landscapes altered by human hands. His images are metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence exploring the collective impact of humans on the environment. While nature provides us with the necessary materials for consumption, the planet suffers and Edward Burtynsky is documenting the scale of its destruction.

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The Many Faces of Water: Edward Burtynsky

Lomography

The landscapes of Canadian photographer Edward Butynsky is one of the famous sets to date. His large-format photographs, shaped and created by humanity for industrial purposes, shed light to one of the most intriguing topics in humanity with its global relevance.

Water, humanity's most precious resource remains our wellspring of life. Burtynsky travelled across five continents to explore the ecological scenery and capture the water resources as how they are used, distributed and wasted, disrupting the balance of the environmen. He photographs rivers such as the Colorado and Sacramento river, both estuaries now running dry. Much more can be found in his "Water series".

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A Single, Finite Planet: Sitting Down With Photographer Edward Burtynsky

By Jordan Bishop
Forbes

When it comes to finding such locations, Burtynsky doesn’t just seek out any instance of the given phenomenon: he pursues the world’s largest-scale example without regard for location or difficulty of access. When I inquire about the background work necessary to shooting a particularly eye-catching image on his studio wall – a godlike view of a seemingly-endless array of abalone and sea cucumber farms in the East China Sea – the thought process he presents is remarkably straightforward: begin by contemplating the role of water and the myriad ways humans use water for his second award-winning documentary, Watermark; identify the fishing industry as a salient theme within that narrative; discern that farm fishing is a larger global protein delivery system than open-sea fishing, and thus a more intriguing study; pinpoint China as home to the largest fish farms on Earth; visit the precise location of the world’s largest collection of fish farms, which sit in Luoyuan Bay just off the coast of Fujian province. The resultant photo, captured in one eight-hundredth of a second, was years in the making.

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Pictures Show How Modern Life Is Altering the Natural World

By Daniel Stone
National Geographic

Since sometime between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, an era generally known as the Bronze Age, humans have been remarkably adept at identifying precious resources and ripping them from the Earth.

For a while, working with bronze or gold or copper meant working with your hands, and with only as much of it as one person could handle. But the 20th century, followed by the 21st, brought marvelous new ways to exploit Earth's elements, namely with industrial beasts that could tear apart landscapes with terrific volume and speed.

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THE LONG VIEW - Edward Burtynsky’s quest to photograph a changing planet.

By Raffi Khatchadourian
The New Yorker

Our helicopter was heading over the Niger Delta, across a vast and unstable sky, with gray clouds surging above. I was sitting behind the pilot, and behind me, gazing out a starboard window, was Edward Burtynsky, a Canadian photographer known for his sweeping images of industrial projects and their effects on the environment. For three decades, he has been documenting colossal mines, quarries, dams, roadways, factories, and trash piles—telling a story, frame by frame, of a planet reshaped by human ambition. For one seminal project, sixteen years ago, he travelled to Bangladesh to shoot decommissioned oil tankers that were being ripped apart by barefoot men with cutting torches. Those images of monumental debris—angular masses that appear to emerge from sediment like alien geology—remain transfixing. Carefully choreographed, shot in hazy and ethereal light, they echo the sublime power of a Turner landscape even as they portray a reckoning with garbage.

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The beauty and the horror in Edward Burtynsky's photographs

CBC Radio - The Sunday Edition

Edward Burtynsky's art is awesome. In the old-fashioned sense of the word … to wit, capable of inspiring awe in its beholder.

His huge photos of dams, mines, quarries, oil refineries, shipbreaking, irrigation and oil sands operations capture landscapes altered on a mind-boggling scale … dwarfing the humans and machines that create them and work inside them.

Burtynsky, though, is not simply a photographer of scale. His lens is attuned to the compelling symmetries of massive industrial sites, the striking, unexpected slashes of colour in rivers of mining tailings and the precise patterns of new cars fanning across a sprawling parking lot.

Continue reading and listen here.

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