Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Slow and Steady Wins the Race and Co: 'Landscapes of Extraction' by J. Henry Fair

Slow and Steady Wins the Race has been very fortunate over the years to work with amazing people who have gone on to do great things. In this feature we'll highlight some of the products, events, and work from people that have come through Slow and Steady Wins the Race's doors.

Sunnie Joh, former Project Manager for Slow and Steady Wins the Race, graduated Cooper Architecture in 2004. She spent most of the Summer 2010 in Vermont at Yestermorrow Design Build School a part of the Certificate Program in Sustainable Building and Design. Sunnie reminisces about the idyllic time “Country living, sleeping out of the back of my truck, going to class, helping out at the organic farm across the street, and swimming in the mad river!

The last week of Summer, a position at The Cooper Union was opening up, so I called the Director of the Institute, an old arch professor, and the next week she was back in the city and started working for the Institute for Sustainable Design that was grant founded in late 2008.

Sunnie is the Co-curator, researcher, and designer for the exhibition Landscapes of Extraction.


Landscapes of Extraction
The Collateral Damage of the Fossil Fuels Industries

Featuring the powerful images by acclaimed photographer J Henry Fair,
as well as analytic graphics and interactive media developed for the exhibition

An exhibition presented by the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture

The debate over our dependence on fossil fuels to provide energy and the subsequent gas emissions and planetary warming they create has largely focused on the invisible. Landscapes of Extraction, an exhibition at The Cooper Union featuring the impressive photographic works of J Henry Fair, provides an eye-opening look at the increasingly extreme industrial processes used to extract fossil fuels including mountain top removal, deep sea drilling and hydro-fracking. Known for taking great risks—such as daunting flyovers by plane to gain unique vantage points, Fair's work depicts the impact of the massive industrial energy sites of the world and the shockingly altered and polluted landscapes and fresh water supplies they manifest.

Researched, developed and built by a group of recent graduates working at the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, the Architecture Archive staff, and J Henry Fair, the exhibition features analytic graphics and interactive media developed specifically for Landscapes of Extraction. Using media stations, individuals are able to personally connect and correlate how their energy use impacts the planet. The interface provides staggering factual information and engages visitors by:

  • Illustrating site-specific extraction processes and documenting its effect on the landscape and surrounding environment
  • Tracking the refinement, transportation and ultimate use of natural resources to generate energy
  • Highlighting the impact each person can make toward creating a global difference. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt light bulb for 20 hours and recycling one plastic bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes

photo by J. Henry Fair

Photographer J Henry Fair researches our world's most egregious environmental disasters and creates images that are simultaneously stunning and horrifying. Mr. Fair's work has received international media coverage and he has recently published his first book, The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis (to be released January 2011).

Exhibition on view: January 20 - February 26, 2011
Gallery Hours: Monday—Friday 12-7pm, Saturday 12-5pm
Gallery Closed: Sunday, February 18, 19, 21

The Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery
The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10003