Sea Change Allegory: visions from a changing climate

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Project Statement

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The Earth is in the midst of a large change in climate. Of course change has defined earth’s history, but our current reality is different from most of the past. Now change is happening on a scale close to that of a human life-time, and humans are the agent of the change. We could choose to mitigate the effects of what we are creating, but have waivered in doing this. The images in this project are meant as harbingers of possible futures. I intend them as reminders of the ephemeral nature of the world around us.

 On an emotional level I’m fascinated by the physicality involved with moving water, and I’m drawn to the complexity of the landscapes that are sculpted. This project presents the intertwining of ocean and shore environments as sea level rises. Each image blends two photographs composited in Photoshop. One photograph is our current experience. The other photograph represents a future possibility. The composite image is not meant to be a scientific thesis, but a metaphor for a possible result of climate change. In some images it is easy to identify the elements of the individual photographs. In others, the blending of the two photographs creates an image that almost seems realistic. In a sense this mimics the way that we experience the changes in climate. They are measurable to greater and lesser degrees. My selection of locations to photograph is informed by maps of projected sea level rise of 6 feet, a possibility by 2100. The mapping is visualized online by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.