Photographies, 10 (2). pp. 189-209. ISSN 1754-0763.
This paper draws comparison between three photographers who documented the North Bloomfield Mining Co.’s (1866-1899) hydraulic gold mine, in California. The history of the North Bloomfield Mining Co. is of interest because of the role that photography played in promoting the interests of corporate capitalism, and conversely acting as an evidential tool for farmers whose lands were flooded by polluted tailings emanating from the mine. The company twice commissioned Carleton Watkins to document their undertakings; however, this paper argues that the aesthetic of the ‘industrial sublime’ originating in Watkins’ photographs obfuscates an understanding of the ecological realities of mining. Alternatively, this paper presents two lesser-known photographers, J.A. Todd and ‘Clinch’, who adopt a counter-aesthetic approach to Watkins. Todd’s photographs from the Woodruff vs. North Bloomfield  trial were presented as evidence in the first collective civil action in US legal history, which pitched the interests of farmers against the corporate mining industry.
The eco-anarchist potential of environmental photography: Richard Misrach’s & Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America
In: The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory. Routledge, UK. ISBN 9781138845770
Taking Richard Misrach’s & Kate Orff’s publication Petrochemical America (2012) as a starting point for a range of debates, this paper argues that environmental photography has a crucial role to play in bringing about an awareness of environmental ethics, which can aid activists and autonomous groups such as citizen scientists in their struggle against industrial pollution. Key to this debate is the definition of the term environmental photography as a multimodal and collaborative genre of cultural production, which promotes the political values of eco-anarchist theories such as social ecology, through the medium of aesthetics.
Indefinite Toxic Circles: an art series curated by Nicole Shea (2017).
Art is at the forefront when it comes to amplifying the discussions surrounding environmental issues. This series by artists John Sabraw, Conohar Scott, and Mandy Barker illuminates the dangers confronting our waters, from leaking pipes to discarded plastics, to the long-term impact of these toxic products on our most delicate and vulnerable ecosystems and sites. Given the recent declarations of climate change and environmental issues to be “fake news,” projects such as these are crucial in reconnecting Humanity and Nature, proof that scientific and artistic collaborations can lead to ground-breaking ideas and sustainable solutions.