New Perspectives on Mesa Verde and the Chesapeake Bay
In "Mesa Verde Stories" I contribute as designer and photographer in a collaborative interdisciplinary team of researchers including an archaeologist, a poet, a Tewa consultant, a philosopher and a filmmaker. Together we use diverse scholarly lenses to examine challenging topics in the southwestern USA to create broader awareness, lively discussion, and deeper understanding of indigenous populations and sustainability in the academic research community and the public at large. We study the rise, spread, and collapse of an ancient and complex American Pueblo society in an effort to understand how and why human cultures change over time.
We have been sharing our findings in exhibitions, conference presentations, short films, and the written word.
I have been using vast mosaic panoramas to help audiences experience these spaces, but would like to push further with aerial perspectives to enhance viewer understanding of waterways, paths, communities, and historic vs. contemporary landscapes. Quadcopters are now relatively safe, affordable, and useful for serious photographic pursuits. By lifting cameras into the sky I can immerse exhibition participants in these sublime landscapes in ways I could previously only dream of, cultivating thematic discussions of boundaries, borders, authority, power, ethics, culture, sustainability and spirituality.
Our team will reunite in the Mesa Verde region in late 2014, and have plans to take our interdisciplinary research into the Chesapeake Bay area in 2015-16 to study its history, ecology, and contemporary challenges with our diverse perspectives. Aerial photography and video would be invaluable for accessing these otherwise difficult wetlands and waterways.