Brett L. Erickson Logo

A Giant Thirst (2014-2020)

Skip to Images ↓

The explosive growth in exploitation of the landscape has resulted in an appalling number of dystopian locations across the West and the world; the late author Edward Abbey wrote, "If industrial man continues to multiply his numbers and expand his operations he will succeed in his apparent intention, to seal himself off from the natural and isolate himself within a synthetic prison of his own making." In maps, geography is situated relative to other geography, but in mythography, locations are fluid spaces that reflect the nature of humanity. In phenomenology, an underlying, shared meaning is at the root of experience. Therefore, in the human condundrum, an elusive, mythographic-phenomenological zone exists: a sliver between the rural and the urban, the landscape and the synthetic, the past and the future, the industrial and the pastoral, the experienced and the unseen.

This series examines and critiques how each of those entities influences and reforms its counterpart, resulting in a tangible yet mythographic moment between the two that illustrates the problem of the human hand and its shared meaning for all. There is no ideal solution in Newtonian human existence, for as humanity seeks to perpetuate its time on this planet, invariably each effort is met with an equal and unavoidable consequence of synthetic debilitation of that space. In short, this project seeks and makes visible the thin line of demarcation in the West where Abbey’s two worlds meet: when the human conundrum and the natural invert. The synthetic becomes the natural; the wild becomes subjugated to humanity’s ever-growing hunger for the fabricated and the counterfeit. In giving voice to such phenomena, these photographs impart the imperative need for humanity to understand, accept, and change its manner of coexistence with its environment.