Amy Feger
The Grand Canyon of Shelby County, Alabama
I caught my first glimpse of the canyon landscape with the mineral green lake through a gap in a fence while riding in the car along a county road. I returned to explore and collect images of the landscape on foot. I consulted the Internet to research this breathtaking view and map more points with accessible views like the one I found along the road. What I discovered surprised me. By exploring the 3D renderings from a first person point-of-view on the ground compiled from topographic data layered with satellite images made available through Google Earth was a ten mile long canyon being carved into the landscape in central Alabama by multiple contiguous mining companies. This in-progress canyon landscape is the unconsidered by-product of the mining industry that has unnaturally disrupted the pace of erosion and geologic time. I became a virtual hiker capturing images of a landscape that is only accessible to the public eye through the Internet. From these virtual experiences I created a series of paintings capturing the essence of a virtual space representing a physical place. Raising questions about the landscapes of humanity’s future, each painting reflects the access to the mediated reality granted by technology.