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Edward Burtynsky: The Landscape of Oil

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highway_edward_burtynsky_photo.jpg“I worked in mines, and I realized that this was a world unseen. I wanted—through color and large format cameras and very large prints—to make a body of work that somehow became symbols of our use of the landscape, how we use the land.” says photographer Edward Burtynsky.

Burtynsky photographs the landscapes of oil, from extraction and refinement to how oil is used to fuel a motor culture to the end of oil and where waste and parts of our cars, planes, and helicopters end up. For Burtysnky, photography is a way to explore and research the world.

“I feel that all of us need to now begin to really take the task of using our talents, our ways of thinking, to begin to deal with what I think is probably one of the most challenging issues of our time—how to deal with our energy crisis,” he says.


This speech was given during a July 2009 conference for TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) in Oxford, England. TED is a nonprofit "devoted to ideas worth spreading."

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