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  • Source: The New Yorker
  • Author: Amy Connors
  • Date: September 08, 2014
  • Format: DIGITAL

David Benjamin Sherry’s

“Climate Vortex Sutra”

Wilderness of Mirrors, Idaho,” 2014Courtesy David Benjamin Sherry and Salon 94, New York

Geologists are intensely focussed on determining whether it will be possible to pinpoint the start of the Anthropocene—the informally recognized epoch, first conceived of by chemist Paul Crutzen, in which humans have altered the earth’s ecosystems. Writing for this magazine, Elizabeth Kolbert described the challenges of trying to grasp our full impact, including “the fact that the geology of the epoch is, at this point, almost entirely prospective.” We don’t yet have any evidence of what our most significant effect on the planet will be.

“Climate Vortex Sutra,” by the photographer David Benjamin Sherry, presents pristine landscapes in unnatural hues to suggest humans’ distortive impact. Sherry pairs this geographic exploration with an anthropological one: photographs that treat human subjects as topographies undergoing their own metamorphoses. One image, titled “The Sixth Extinction” after Kolbert’s most recent book, is dedicated to the writer. Like Kolbert’s book, Sherry’s photographs pose a startling question: How are we adapting to what Crutzen called “the geology of mankind”?

David Benjamin Sherry’s “Climate Vortex Sutra” is on view at Salon 94 Bowery through October 25th.