Eirik Johnson: Sawdust Mountain

Overview

A culmination of four years of photographing throughout Oregon, Washington and Northern California, Sawdust Mountain focuses on the tenuous relationship between industries reliant upon natural resources and the communities they support. Timber and salmon are the bedrock of a regional Northwest identity, but the environmental impact of these declining industries has been increasingly at odds with the contemporary ideal of sustainability. In this, his second book, Johnson reveals a landscape imbued with an ...

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Overview

A culmination of four years of photographing throughout Oregon, Washington and Northern California, Sawdust Mountain focuses on the tenuous relationship between industries reliant upon natural resources and the communities they support. Timber and salmon are the bedrock of a regional Northwest identity, but the environmental impact of these declining industries has been increasingly at odds with the contemporary ideal of sustainability. In this, his second book, Johnson reveals a landscape imbued with an uncertain future—no longer the region of boomtowns built upon the riches of massive old-growth forests. Johnson, a Seattle native, describes his photographs as, "a melancholy love letter of sorts, my own personal ramblings..." Through this poetic approach, Sawdust Mountain records a region affected by historic economic complexities and, by extension, one aspect of our fraught relationship with the environment in the twenty-first century.
Eirik Johnson, born in Seattle in 1974, is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, George Eastman House and Aperture Gallery. His first book, Borderlands, was awarded the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2005.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The 70 color images here offer a glimpse of the culture that emanates from the fishing and lumber industries in Washington and Oregon. Johnson's (Borderlands; photography, Massachusetts Coll. of Art and Design) photographs of landscapes, people, buildings, vehicles, and animals are grainy, with muted colors, evoking a dreamlike feel. Johnson successfully illustrates two sides of the industries—the jobs that are created for thousands of families but that leave irreparable scars on the land and the industries attempting to renew the depleted resources. The body of the book consists of photographs with simple, nondescriptive titles. Johnson's notes on select photographs at the end of the book provide historical and important background information and a more complete understanding of the images. The two included essays don't appreciably increase the value of the photographs, yet Johnson's images and notes can stand alone. VERDICT Suitable for readers interested in photography, the Pacific Northwest, and the logging and fishing industries.—Valerie Nye, Coll. of Santa Fe, NM
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597110914
  • Publisher: Aperture Foundation
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Eirik Johnson (born in Seattle, 1974) is an assistant professor of photography at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, George Eastman House, and Aperture Gallery. His first book, Borderlands, was awarded the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2005.

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