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Anonymization: The Global Proliferation of Urban Sprawl
Project info

"ANONYMIZATION - the global proliferation of urban sprawl" is a photographic exhibition & book project by Robert Harding Pittman.

All across the world a uniform, homogeneous model of development, inspired by Los Angeles style urban sprawl – consisting of massive freeways, parking lots, shopping malls and large-scale master-planned communities with golf courses – is being stamped onto the earth’s topography. With this anonymous type of development comes the destruction of the environment, and also a loss of culture and roots, as well as alienation.

This globalized model of architecture does not respect or adapt itself to the natural or cultural environment onto which it is implanted. As we have seen in recent history, fervent overdevelopment has led to crises, not only financial, but also environmental and social, and some even say psychological.

German-American photographer Robert Harding Pittman began working on this project on the global proliferation of urban sprawl in Los Angeles over ten years ago. Since then he has been traveling around the world photographing the spread of “L.A. style development” in Las Vegas, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Dubai and South Korea. The world was in the midst of a construction boom when the project began. In the meantime most cranes have come to a screeching halt.

The book ANONYMIZATION, recently published by Kehrer Verlag, was nominated for the German Photobook Award (Deutscher Fotobuchpreis). Writers for the book are curator Alison Nordström, environmentalist Bill McKibben, architect Galina Tachieva and sociologist Anette Baldauf. The book is a carbon neutral print production. The project was also just nominated for the Prix Pictet 2014.

"These images--many of them haunting in an arid way--remind us by contrast of how much we long for real places, real texture, real homes, real communities. In many cases they're the face of the housing bust--but also some much deeper bust, in the way we've been thinking (or not) about the world."
— Bill McKibben, author Eaarth

Notes on exhibition of work:

The travelling exhibition “Anonymization” has already been produced and exhibited at the Fototriennale in Denmark (2012) and at La Casa Encendida cultural center in Madrid, Spain (2013). To date there are 17 prints mounted on Aluminum dibond (80x80cm). These could be shipped anywhere in the world very easily and cost-effectively by a “regular” courier (FedEx, TNT etc.) as they are packaged in very sturdy wooden crates. It would of course be possible to show more or less images, as would be most suitable for the venue.

If the venue were interested we could also organize a conference related to the issues of urban sprawl with urban planners and environmentalists and myself. I have done book presentations/signings in this fashion in Madrid. We could also organize a night where I would screen my documentary films which are related to urban sprawl, “Oak #419” and “Concrete Coast” and thereafter I could give a guided tour of the exhibition. Again these are only suggestions and are not requirements for me. My main objective is to have the photographs exhibited.