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Photographs of Grasslands Objects 2010

One of the most striking aspects of the grasslands is a huge difference in the scale of physical information, what one sees in the environment. The largest scale, the dome of the sky, borders on the infinite. By contrast, the smallest scale feels infinitely small in juxtaposition to the dome and the vast ground plane. There may be tiny wild flowers or more ephemeral effects such as a fast moving shadow or patch of light, a haze of color.

At first glance, this world seems empty, but that’s not at all the case.

In between the grand scale of the sky and the subtleties of the ground plane is the middle scale, the macro scale of the ‘objects’ in the grasslands. These objects are few and far between, and dramatically galvanize my attention when I come across them on the road. They include fences and gates, grain elevators, silly roadside attractions, abandoned houses, silos and discarded farm machinery, irrigation equipment, and they jump out of their surroundings, sometimes causing me to make a U-turn in the middle of nowhere. These objects can be purely functional, humorous, sad, ironic, extra-terrestrial in feel, and totally beautiful in the way a Richard Serra rusted steel wall is beautiful in a particular landscape. These mid-scale object mediate the very small and the very large and they sit, strangely unanchored, almost floating in the sea of the grasslands. (See Grasslands 2010 trip description and map.)