The debate over our dependence on fossil fuels to provide energy and the subsequent gas emissions and planetary warming they create has largely focused on the invisible. Landscapes of Extraction, an exhibition at The Cooper Union featuring the impressive photographic works of J Henry Fair, provides an eye-opening look at the increasingly extreme industrial processes used to extract fossil fuels including mountain top removal, deep sea drilling and hydro-fracking. Known for taking great risks—such as daunting flyovers by plane to gain unique vantage points, Fair’s work depicts the impact of the massive industrial energy sites of the world and the shockingly altered and polluted landscapes and fresh water supplies they manifest.
Researched, developed and built by a group of recent graduates working at the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, the Architecture Archive staff, and J Henry Fair, the exhibition features analytic graphics and interactive media developed specifically for Landscapes of Extraction. Using media stations, individuals are able to personally connect and correlate how their energy use impacts the planet. The interface provides staggering factual information and engages visitors by:
• Illustrating site-specific extraction processes and documenting its effect on the landscape and surrounding environment
• Tracking the refinement, transportation and ultimate use of natural resources to generate energy
• Highlighting the impact each person can make toward creating a global difference. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt light bulb for 20 hours and recycling one plastic bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes
Presented by the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.
Free and open to the public.
The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery The Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St. (b/w 3rd and 4th Aves.), 2nd floor New York, NY 10003