iPhone photography, digital collage,
direct to media print on dibond
On September 6, 2020, I was enjoying the view of the San Gabriel mountains from a lookout point on Mulholland Drive. We were still in the depths of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this outdoor space was a refuge. As I watched, a tiny wisp of smoke appeared, spiraling its way skyward.
The fire spread quickly, becoming one of the largest fires on record in Los Angeles county, burning 115,796 acres and making several types of wildlife face extinction.
I photographed the fire as it raged. When I contacted local friends with words of sorrow, they were nonplussed saying things like, “We always have fires… it’s just Los Angeles… They won’t let it get to people or houses or businesses or stuff… good thing it’s Covid and we have masks”. Los Angelean' perception is so dedicated to consumer ideals, and anthropocentrism, it really weighed heavy on my heart. In response, I digitally collaged super models wearing designer clothing that emphasized mask-wearing during the pandemic over the images of the wildfire.
In support of Post Carbon Institute’s resilience course, I feel this artwork speaks to the need to shift from a consumer economy to a conserver economy. “The story of consumerism appealed to people’s love of novelty, and it fed on our deeply ingrained urge to display symbols of status. Advertising contains millions of images and messages, but all tell essentially the same story: human satisfaction derives from the ownership of certain objects.” “Consumerism replaced satisfying experiences of making, growing, repairing, and sharing with the momentary buzz of buying a new manufactured product. We need to reverse that bargain.” -postcarbon.org