Aesthetica Magazine Issue 104

December / January 2022

There is so much happening right now. It feels like everything is moving at a cataclysmic speed. For 20 months, Covid has dominated our lives. The impact of this will be felt for many years to come, because we can only start to make sense of what’s happened with time and distance. We heard governments say that we will build back better, but I am doubtful that we will see real change. I am terrified by the climate crisis and the long-term impact it will have on the planet and humankind. I keep trying to figure out a way that we can galvanise in order to reach people on a local level. How can we get more people to care?

Moreover, how can we get more people to change? Some of these changes can be so simple, like cutting down on meat, walking instead of driving short distances, turning your thermostat down. If millions of people did this, say, starting tomorrow, the impact would be huge. Creating a community that takes shared responsibility is one of our biggest challenges. How can we set this idea in motion?

This issue is dedicated to perseverance, resilience and determination. In the face of anything, we do have the power to change. David Benjamin Sherry’s large-format images of the American west examine endangered monuments in aftermath of the Trump administration. Meanwhile, Foto/Industria’s photography biennale offers a look at industrialised farming, and its impact upon global consumption processes. Then we explore deep geological time in the works of Noémie Goudal, who foregrounds the larger narrative of Earth’s 4.543-billion-year lifespan, combining elements of palaeoclimatology and art.

In photography, we are thrilled to present further series from Ingrid Weyland, Kevin Krautgartner, Kate Theo, Karen Constine and Harriet Moutsopoulos on the cover. The last words go to Jennifer Blessing and Nat Trotman, Curators of Photography, and Performance and Media respectively, who speak in detail about identity as part of Wearing Masks, the new Gillian Wearing show at Guggenheim, New York.

Ecological Disturbance

Ingrid Weyland’s collage compositions tap into the age of Anthropocentrism, with human hands literally altering ecosystems from the inside out.

Satirical Photomontage

Harriet Moutsopoulos (aka Lexicon Love) creates digital collages that manipulate the origins of images, unsettling the viewer.

Worlds Transformed

Karen Constine subverts the LA landscape using an infrared camera. Deserted suburban streets are transfigured into surreal planes.

Acts of Preservation

David Benjamin Sherry’s large-format images, shot in hyperreal monochrome, depict sites that were threatened during Trump’s administration.

From the Orchard

William Mullan and Andrea A. Trabucco-Campos offer highly stylised portraits of apples: the fruit that has long symbolised knowledge and power.

Journey into Colour

Kate Theo places characters in their own surreal worlds. Concentric circles hover like ellipses alongside balloons and golden cages.

Lines of Production

Kevin Krautgartner’s series captures large-scale tulip agriculture from above. Aerial shots depict rows of flowers like striped barcodes.

Creating an Archive

The American South has diverse and complex histories. What happens when 16 photographers are invited to picture the region over 25 years?

Ethics of Consumption

Foto/Industria biennale offers a provocative glimpse at what we eat, how it’s presented and its larger cultural impact, from field to the table.

Exploring Deep Time

Palaeoclimatology includes the study of ancient climates. Noémie Goudal foregrounds the larger narrative of Earth’s 4.543-billion-year lifespan.