November 1, 2014

Conflicting Topographies

Conflicting Topographies over Nevada

It's probably not surprising, when flying, I like the window seat. Flying, for me, is a little dose of transcendence. At 30,000 feet, perspective runs visually broad and contemplatively deep. Patterns that might strike me while walking along the beach or across a sloping plate of sandstone replicate themselves in swaths of mountain range, river valley and plain. The visual connection is an affirmation of the synergistic relationship of all things, whether big or small, that make up our planet.

In the photo here, taken high above the desert northwest of Las Vegas, linear roads and boundaries cut through the natural patterns of Earth, exemplifying the often conflicting nature of our efforts to "progress" human life. I generally hold to Darwinian beliefs and nothing in this image feels particularly Darwinian to me in terms of the ultimate success (survival) of our species. Instead of conflict, our future needs harmony. The human topographies we evolve going forward must better align and respect the topography of Earth. At 30,000 feet, the visual argument for such a paradigm shift seems obvious.


Sometimes you can tell a large story with a tiny subject.

Eliot Porter