19 April, 2018

The Industrial Revolution

Photos: This chapter contains in total 13 images, of which I show here 7.

The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution, which started in Britain, caused another change in the experience of the environment. A lot of inventions in a relative short time caused a renewal in various areas of daily life. Wool and cotton did exist, but it was transformed into an industry; due to the invention of the steam engine, coal was mined on a massive scale to deliver energy for these machines; railroad tracks are developed, descendants of the rails used in mountain mine shafts since the late Middle Ages. This changed the method of travelling, from stage coach to travel by train. Just to mention a few examples.

The experience of the landscape from a train carriage has a lot of resemblance with the experience of the Autobahn on which I will elaborate in the next chapter. Even though mining has been around for centuries, for example coal mining has been done in Britain since the 2nd century B.C. by the Romans. The scale on which all of this happened has exploded during the Industrial Revolution. By enclosures, walling in the agricultural lands that before were part of the common fields and open fields, agriculture expanded enormously. In the twentieth century re-allotments were added to this.

For this chapter I photographed different type of mines in The Lake District. The scale, the grandeur of nature, and the triviality of mankind, are the fundamental ideas in this chapter. Mankind has left enormous vertical scars in the landscape. He viewed the landscape as something that could be “used”. It is the emergence of urbanization, with her industrialization, that rummages earth to search for raw materials, built new roads, in other words reorganizes earth, and with that conquers the organic rootedness of the farmer. (Ton Lemaire)

I combine these landscapes of mines with close-ups of materials at these mines. This refers to that what is near, which became invisible in the experience of the landscape. By travelling by train, the near became a blur, which could not be looked at. Besides the locality of products was lost, because they weren’t produced and sold locally anymore, but they became cargo shipped over long distances.

For more information on the visual approach, take a look at the artist statement here