And Again
Project info

I learned about the Harvest Forest in Petersham, MA in the Spring of 2009, through an article in the New York Times Magazine titled “The Working Forest.”. This article by Robert Sullivan outlined the environmental research that is taking place in Petersham and introduced me to the idea of an experimental forest. I was fascinated by the description of the work occurring there and decided to photograph the forest, the experiments, and the scientists. It became clear to me that this work was both visually compelling and material to to the contemporary dialogue about land and water use, as well as global warming. The forest is a microcosm for the world in which we live, and begins to help us envision the future we may inhabit. Much of what the scientists do at the forest seems strange and otherworldly to outsiders, but to them it is often a series of mundane acts necessary to gain a larger understanding of the world around them.  For me, the repetition suggests ritual and reverence.  I began to look for moments where people and place transcend the ordinary, seeking patterns and correlations in the hierarchy of the visual chaos inherent in the forest.   The Harvard Forest offers a place where time’s passage is more consciously studied than almost anywhere else on the planet. It is a place where technology and nature are so viscerally and overtly entwined that cables and wires emerge from the ground and descend from the sky, where trees are wrapped in plastic and metal, and the growth and movements of all things are tracked with unending precision. Like the work that happens in the forest, this work seeks to find a balance between description and intervention. Ranging from pure document to a more lyrical approach, these photographs embrace the descriptive power of details present, while acknowledging the ineffable quality of time on place. In this range and variety, the images impose a set of visual hierarchies that diverge from the structure imposed on this place by scientists, and replace it with another. This project has much in common with those of the scientists; it is about a desire to understand, describe and predict the evolutions of our surroundings, while showing reverence for the possibility of sublime moments in a place.