In 1799 became The German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt set out on a journey through America, cataloging everything he could find: plants, minerals, capybars, canals, etc. Humboldt suggested that the world was “one great living organism, where everything was connected.” – a theory that would inspire Charles Darwin. He introduced the concept of ecosystems and was among the first natural scientists to notice the destructive impact of humanity on Earth.
In 2017 photographer Christopher Edward Rodriguez encountered Humboldt’s writings. He had thought about what a camera can really see when almost every inch of the planet has been “shaped, instructed and photographed to death.” He adopted Humboldt’s ideas and set off across America to create a series of images showing the planet “as if it had never been seen before.” He used long exposures, artificial lighting and colored gels to “bypass the camera’s scientific accuracy.” His aim with the photographs was to convey a mood of “consistent strangeness”, a mood that embodies a forgotten doctrine of Humboldt: “Everything is interaction and reciprocity.”