Burtynsky Oil

Burtynsky Oil

By Edward Burtynsky (Photographer); Michael Mitchell (Essay by); William Rees (Essay by)

Steidl Dap, Hardcover, 9783865219435, 210pp.

Publication Date: October 2009

"In 1997 I had what I refer to as my oil epiphany. It occurred to me that the vast, human-altered landscapes that I pursued and photographed for over 20 years were only made possible by the discovery of oil and the mechanical advantage of the internal combustion engine. It was then that I began the oil project. Over the next ten years I researched and photographed the largest oil fields I could find. I went on to make images of refineries, freeway interchanges, automobile plants and the scrap industry that results from the recycling of cars. Then I began to look at the culture of oil, the motor culture, where masses of people congregate around vehicles, with vehicle events as the main attraction. These images can be seen as notations by one artist contemplating the world as it is made possible through this vital energy resource and the cumulative effects of industrial evolution." --Edward Burtynsky.

About the Author

Michael Mitchell is associate professor at the School of Government, Politics, and Global Studies at Arizona State University. His research focuses on democratization in Latin America and the politics of ethnic minorities.