In the Air
Garrett Hardin coined the term Tragedy of the Commons, in which entities act in self-interest at the expense of the many. Some examples include overhunting, overfishing, and overgrazing. Air pollution falls in this category; its generation can come from concentrated sources, yet it affects everyone.
For this project I photograph airborne particles, including byproducts of conservation, energy production, natural disasters, and agriculture. While there is often a disproportionate impact at the local level, this is not a local phenomenon; particles can travel a few feet, a few miles, or circle the earth. Despite their tiny size, they have serious repercussions including respiratory problems and death.
Air seems invisible; however, it is a thriving ecosystem teeming with solids, liquids, and gases. With this work I am exploring what goes into the air, where it travels, and the impact it has. I am interested in protections that are in place, ones that are needed, and ones that are being removed. During research into this project, I was astonished to discover that we breathe in almost 3,000 gallons of air a day. The goals of this work are to raise awareness, to make the invisible visible, and to make the ephemeral permanent.