LUKE CLERKIN, RENELL MEDIANO AND OLIVIA ZIMMERMAN DEVELOPED A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS PRESENTED AS DIPTYCHS CONTRASTING THE DOCUMENTATION OF WILDERNESS CREATES WITH IMAGES OF SITES WHEN TRACKING ACTIVITY OCCURRED OF PORTRAITS IN THE AREA.

TOWaNDA

TOWANDA IS A COLLABORATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY INVESTIGATION OF TOWANDA, PA. THE RESULTING ARCHIVE OFFERS AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE LIVING ECOLOGY OF TOWANDA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS FROM MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES AND POINTS OF VIEW TO OFFER THE VIEWER AN INSIGHT INTO THE PLACE AND THE PEOPLE WHO RESIDE THERE. THE OBJECTIVE WAS TO RECORD THE PRESENT ECOLOGY OF TOWANDA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS IN THREE SENSES AREAS SUGGESTED BY EDWARD RALPH IN “A SENSE OF PLACE” AND PROPOSED BY THE PHILOSOPHER AND PSYCHOLOGIST FELIX GUATTARI; THE ENVIRONMENTAL ECOLOGY, SOCIAL ECOLOGY, AND MENTAL ECOLOGY.

TOWANDA, PA, THE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CENTER OF BRADFORD COUNTY, IS  SITUATED ALONG THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER, WHICH FLOWS THROUGH A VALLEY IN NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA'S ENDLESS MOUNTAIN REGION. TOWANDA STANDS AS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF HOW A TOWN UNDERGOES CHANGE AND DEALS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL EFFECTS OF DRILLING FOR NATURAL GAS.  IT CAN SET A STANDARD BY WHICH TO JUDGE WHAT SMALL TOWNS IN OHIO, NEW YORK, AND IN OTHER STATES WHERE GAS RESERVES EXIST, WILL EXPERIENCE AS FRACKING CONTINUES TO GROW AS THE TECHNOLOGY OF CHOICE FOR EXTRACTING GAS RESERVES IN THE U.S.

ENVIRONMENTAL ECOLOGY DESCRIBED WHAT WE NORMALLY THINK IN TERMS OF ECOSYSTEMS, FLORA, TAUNA ETC. GIVEN THE LIKELIHOOD OF LARGE SCALE GAS EXTRACTION INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT, THE DOCUMENTATION OF THOSE ASPECTS OF TOWANDA AND ITS SURROUNDINGS THAT CAN BE CONSTRUED AS A “WILDERNESS” IS OF SPECIAL INTEREST. BY WILDERNESS WE MEAN AN UNCULTIVATED PLACE BEYOND THE BOUNDARY OF AN ORDERED SOCIETAL ENVIRONMENT – WHAT LIES APART FROM REGULATED CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT.

The resulting archive will give a robust understanding of the singularity and specificity of this place as it exists right now.  At its most modest, this proposed project is an act of historical recording. At its most lofty, this sort of documentation is an act of resistance (i.e. activism), not necessarily against the specific development of Towanda and its surroundings, but certainly against the mentality that regards such development as inevitable and healthy.

Additional water found beside a Hydraulic Fracturing Site.

Additional water found beside a Hydraulic Fracturing Site.