Storm Season

Pinhole Photographs/ Polaroid T55

These pinhole photographs were taken in Louisiana wetlands, in the aftermath of recent hurricanes. The Polaroid process was used in order to simplify the creation of the image, and more so, to truly develop the image at the location, giving the project a certain finality.

Louisiana is experiencing the highest rate of coastal erosion in America, losing about one hundred yards of land every thirty minutes. That is a size of a football field every half-hour.

The barrier islands of Southeast Louisiana are some of the youngest and most unstable landforms on earth. They average 5000 years in age, and are rapidly changing shape and disappearing due to the man-altered flow of the Mississippi delta. Timbalier Island, for example, averaged 20m/year towards Northwest, during the last century (U.S. geological survey). During the early 1800’s most of the barrier islands served as the summer resorts to Louisiana’s upper crust. In 1856 a devastating hurricane hit Isle Dernieres causing great loss of life and property, nearly splitting the island in half. Since then more than a dozen major storms, including Katrina, changed the geography of the coast. Today, all except Grand Isle are sand bars with a little more than skeletal remnants of industry.

These Islands represent the “First Line of Defense” against such hurricanes. Our, often adversarial relationship with the world outside ultimately reveals our inability to adapt to the natural process. We stop the flooding of rivers by building levees, yet that destroys the wetlands that protect us from storm surges. These photographs set out to illustrate the results of such failed relations.