Manufactured Landscapes

Manufactured Lanscapes

For a while now, I’ve been hearing about this incredible documentary that follows Canadian landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky as he embarks on a tour through China. And though I still haven’t been able to see it (it’s not being screened in Germany yet and is only in a handful of places in the US), I intend to make “Manufactured Landscapes” one of the priorities for my trip back to the US next week.

Burtynsky, who I’d never heard of until this movie, is an award-winning photographer who documents the impact of the unsustainable contemporary Western lifestyle on the rest of the world by snapping photos of quarries, mines, and recycling dumps. It’s frightening and humbling to see pictures like these (run-off from a nickel mine in Canada):

The movie, I imagine, will likewise be frightening and humbling as it follows Burtynsky through China as he takes photos of the Three Gorges Dam project, the shaping of modernity in major cities, and the dormitory housing of factory workers. To help offset the straitjacket feeling I’m sure I’ll have afterwards, though, I’ve also been checking out the World Changing website, one of Burtynksy’s projects, to see about all the good there is left to do in the world. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but from the looks of things, this may be an incredible statement that inspires me to do more, which makes its limited release a bit frustrating. I’m curious, though … Have any of you seen this flick yet? Any thoughts on the importance of its role?

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About Courtney Tenz

4 Comments

  1. Hey all…I just found this brand new green and sustainable living concept on the market that was invented in Oregon. It’s called the NW Modern from ideabox and the man who created this home was also the brains behind the e-rated appliances, the predecessor to the Department of Energy’s Engery Star Program.

    Ideabox is sustainable and green in both building materials and construction. It’s the hippest and most resourceful thing I’ve seen since Bluetooth technology! This energy efficient pre-fab home is wrapped up in a cool, modern design that is actually affordable!

    For the environmentally responsible consumer this cabin is cool and sleek. I mean we’re talking living large here in 400 sq. feet of luxury in a clever high end pre-fab home with a very intelligent design.

    The research I’ve done shows that ideabox uses environmentally friendly products and construction with wireless technologies. Designed with the idea that you can live large in a small space, ideabox is attracting very posh customers. And hey…less can be more! My family is considering it for a vacation home on some land at the lake or the beach. Another thought I have is putting it on my property for when the kids come home. Once you’re in college, staying right with mom is tough. This way, they can have space but still be “home”.

    Here is some more information I found on how environmentally friendly ideabox is…

    · Wireless technology because power lines are SO last year.
    · Standing seam metal roofing – sustainable and fire retardant
    · Fiber-cement siding for low maintenance
    · Galvalume corrugated metal siding for an industrial look and efficient construction.
    · Bamboo flooring because it’s sleek and renewable
    · Energy Star appliances and lighting for the best in energy efficiency
    · Marmoleum countertops, made from renewable resources
    · Fully insulated walls for maximum energy efficiency
    · Energy-efficient ENERGY STAR labeled windows to regulate temperature
    · Less than 2% construction waste because materials are ordered to size
    · Low volatile organic compound paints for better, healthier indoor air
    · Duo-flush toilets for water efficiency
    · Day lighting; windows in all exterior walls and interior re-lite strategies
    · Tankless water heaters to reduce electricity use

    I haven’t seen anything like this before! Have any of you? If you want more information about these homes you can visit http://www.ideabox.us.

  2. Great post!

    If the economics don’t work, recycling efforts won’t either.
    As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing, http://LivePaths.com blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

  3. Olivia Zaleski says:

    Courtney. This is so fascinating. I definitely plan to see the movie. I also wrote about this topic on the Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olivia-zaleski/an-american-corporation-i_b_55910.html and then copied the post to Eco-Chick http://eco-chick.com/?p=857.

    Please read if you want to know more about factory work in China. Would love to write about this more on Eco-Chick. We should start a dialogue.

  4. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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