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Dusty deltas, roaring dams and alien landscapes

 

 

Dusty deltas, roaring dams and alien landscapes: Stunning aerial photos reveal how humans have reshaped the Earth with our need for water – a vital resource ‘we take for granted until it’s gone’

Sunday, Oct 20 2013

By Daily Mail Reporter
 
 

Other worldly: The Thjorsá River in Iceland, 2012

Other worldly: The Thjorsá River in Iceland, 2012

 
 

PUBLISHED: 16:42 GMT, 22 September 2013 | UPDATED: 16:42 GMT, 22 September 2013

 
 
The latest project from photographer Edward Burtynsky is an incredible series documenting how humans treat water, a resource that is vital to all known forms of life on earth.

On his website, the artist explains: ‘While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding, and very thirsty civilization, we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways.’

Burtynsky notes that ‘we are also capable of engineering our own demise.’ So, in these images, he says he wants to ‘stimulate a process of thinking about something essential to our survival; something we often take for granted – until it’s gone.’

So these large-scale pictures reveal strangely patterned agricultural land, dry deltas, huge multi-colored circles created by pivot irrigation, organized food production and human life centered around the compound that covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface.

The photographer states: ‘Water is intermittently introduced as a victim, a partner, a protagonist, a lure, a source, an end, a threat and a pleasure.’

But the effects of water are often at their most powerful when it is missing. Burtynsky, therefore, often concentrates on the ‘visual and physical effects of the lack of water, giving its absence an even more powerful presence.’

For this work, Burtynsky has produced a book, a documentary called Watermark and several multimedia offerings, including an iPad app.

His photographs are also showing at the Howard Greenberg gallery and the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, both in New York City, until 2 November.

 

View from above: A teardrop formed by the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Station in Baja, Mexico, 2012

View from above: A teardrop formed by the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Station in Baja, Mexico, 2012

 

 

Circles on the landscape: Pivot Irrigation #11, High Plains, Texas Panhandle, USA 2011

Circles on the landscape: Pivot Irrigation #11, High Plains, Texas Panhandle, USA 2011

 

 

Painterly quality: Rice Terraces #2, in the Western Yunnan Province, China, 2012

Painterly quality: Rice Terraces #2, in the Western Yunnan Province, China, 2012

 

 

Control: VeronaWalk in Naples, Florida, USA, 2012

Control: VeronaWalk in Naples, Florida, USA, 2012

 

 

Industry: Marine Aquaculture #1, in Luoyuan Bay, Fujian Province, China, 2012

Industry: Marine Aquaculture #1, in Luoyuan Bay, Fujian Province, China, 2012

 

 

Vital resource: Greenhouses on the Almira Peninsula in Spain, 2010

Vital resource: Greenhouses on the Almira Peninsula in Spain, 2010

 

 

Half empty? There's not much water at the bottom of this stepwell in Sagar Kund Baori, Bundi, Rajasthan, India, from 2010

Half empty? There’s not much water at the bottom of this stepwell in Sagar Kund Baori, Bundi, Rajasthan, India, from 2010

 

 

Attraction: High-rise hotels cluster next to the water in Benidorm, Spain

Attraction: High-rise hotels cluster next to the water in Benidorm, Spain

 

 

Science fiction: Patterns made by pivot irrigation south of Yuma, Arizona, USA, in 2011

Science fiction: Patterns made by pivot irrigation south of Yuma, Arizona, USA, in 2011

 

 

Power: Xiaolangdi Dam on the Yellow River in Henan Province, China, in 2011

Power: Xiaolangdi Dam on the Yellow River in Henan Province, China, in 2011

 

 

Divide: The Navajo Indian Reservation and suburb, Arizona, USA

Divide: The Navajo Indian Reservation and suburb, Arizona, USA

 

 

Ritual: Hindu pilgrims gather to bathe in a sacred river at Haridwar, India, in 2010

Ritual: Hindu pilgrims gather to bathe in a sacred river at Haridwar, India, in 2010

 

 

Fronds: Dryland farming in Monegros County, Aragon, Spain 2010

Fronds: Dryland farming in Monegros County, Aragon, Spain 2010

 

 

Parched: The Colorado River Delta, Sonora, Mexico, in 2012

Parched: The Colorado River Delta, Sonora, Mexico, in 2012

 

 

Rolling hills: Dryland Farming #24, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain 2010

Rolling hills: Dryland Farming #24, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain 2010

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