The Invasive Species of the Built Environment

Leah Schretenthaler

2017 - Ongoing

Hawaii, United States

The land of Hawaii is vast, luxurious, and idyllic but past the wanderlust images the land is very controversial. The growing population and tourism continues to threaten the space and its ability to accommodate all the occupants. The industrial growth happening in Hawaii goes beyond simply manipulating the landscape; it destroys the historical records and spiritual places that have existed there for millions of years. Through these photographs the attention focuses on the spaces that these infrastructures impede on the natural environment, instead of colors of the idyllic Hawaii. Using silver gelatin prints which consist of selected, man made spaces that have attempted to be removed create a burnt and sometimes empty area. The use of a laser cutter to cut the structure from the landscape leaves a scar upon the image. The removed spaces aid in seeing what Hawaii would be like without these impositions. No longer should humanity build for the sake of building; but should instead question the social and political concerns that exist in the natural world.

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