Water State

Water State project is a series of landscape photographs that are interrupted by man-made landscaping. The companies that own the locations that house these structures are places we depend on for our way of life. The dangerous waste that, generates a way of life from corporate structures to consumer consumption, is being diluted into local water supplies. As required by state law, some companies have disclosed in reports to regulators that they are pumping illegal concentrations of chemicals into the ground. In 1977, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to force polluters to disclose the toxins they dump into waterways and to give regulators the power to fine or jail offenders. States have passed pollution statutes, but in recent years, violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation.
This project is not about corporate manipulation; rather I am bringing awareness to how complicit we are in making these sites ourselves. These photographs are not simply a document; it is a tool for thinking about the world, a revelation on the upheavals that will affect our way of life in the years to come. The goal of my work is to monumentalize and humanize the landscape; meaning imagery that is sensitive to the landscape has the potential over time to resonate within a larger social context. I am attempting to identify, understand, and document what is happening to Minnesota’s nature that has been exacerbated by civilization and industrialization. The world that is felt to have been lost to us, locations that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

Alexander Kanwischer