The contemporary landscape is detailed and intricate. It is divided into segments that are separately owned and diversely maintained. Through photography I am exploring these unique subsections that form this complex environment. I am observing and recording these characteristics to better understand the makeup of my surroundings. I am interested in learning why particular locations are given such special attention. I am focusing on variations of land, which reveal an individual’s personal reflection of, and relationship to the environment. Their interconnection is conveyed through directly manipulating and placing objects within the landscape. Often, the attempt is to emulate an ideal natural world. I am especially drawn to interactions that are distinct and whimsical. I view these spaces as types of sub-landscapes, which when assembled depict an eccentric man-made world. These images are my contemplation of artificial environments whose quirky intricacies describe the formation of the modern landscape.
In the American West, vast areas of remote, arid terrain were historically disregarded by early settlers and described as “the lands nobody wanted.” In the Upper Snake River Valley of Eastern Idaho, parts of these sagebrush desert expanses, now overseen by the Federal Bureau of Land Management, are regularly used by local gun-owners for target shooting. My work is an examination of this culture and tradition, which is rooted in the concept of rugged individualism, the myth of the frontier, and a strict championing of the Second Amendment. Through the documentation of landscapes, artifacts, and individuals, I am considering the social, political, and ecological issues that intersect and complicate this once undesirable frontier.
These artifacts were collected on public land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management while making photographs for the series "Nobody Wanted." The term "trigger trash" is used by the BLM when referring to any items left behind as a result of target shooting.
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